Catalyst Biosciences, Inc. has entered into an exclusive worldwide research and license agreement with Centocor R&D, Inc. Centocor will support Catalyst's discovery research and preclinical development of Alterase drug candidates against two targets. The first target is in inflammatory disease, with an option to expand the agreement to include a third target. Alterase therapeutics are next-generation protease biologics engineered to catalytically split and inactivate disease-causing proteins.
Catalyst Biosciences will receive an upfront payment of $11 million, which includes cash, research funding for two years, and an equity investment by Johnson & Johnson Development Corp. (JJDC). Centocor will be responsible for all development, manufacturing, and commercialization associated with the Alterase products resulting from the collaboration in exchange for future milestones and royalties.
"We are very pleased to collaborate with Centocor, a leading developer of biologic therapies, to employ our Alterase drug discovery engine against high-value targets," said Nassim Usman, Ph.D., chief executive officer of Catalyst Biosciences. "We are also delighted to welcome JJDC to our premier group of investors."