Cellzome, Inc. and GlaxoSmithKline entered a worldwide strategic alliance to discover, develop and market novel kinase-targeted therapeutics to treat inflammatory diseases. The alliance gives GSK access to Cellzome's expertise in identifying and developing selective kinase inhibitors and its Kinobeads technology, which screens compounds in a physiological setting and is designed to improve the predictability of these drug candidates in clinical testing. Kinases are key molecular switches in cellular signaling events with a central role in many inflammatory responses. Selective inhibitors offer a different therapeutic approach to diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis or multiple sclerosis.
Under the agreement GSK has exclusive options to license drug candidates from Cellzome's kinase programs directed against four identified targets, and three additional targets to be identified by both parties. Cellzome will use its Kinobeads technology to discover small molecule inhibitors of these targets, and then will develop the most promising candidates through a clinical proof of concept trial, unless GSK elects to exercise its option earlier. In this case GSK would have an exclusive option to license all product candidates from that program. GSK would then assume full responsibility for further clinical development and commercialization on a worldwide basis. Cellzome is eligible to receive success-based milestones as product candidates are advanced and retains the right to continue the development and commercialization of candidates GSK chooses not to develop.
Cellzome will receive upfront payments of $25.3 million comprised of both cash and equity and is eligible for as much as $208 million per program in potential development, regulatory and commercial milestones, in addition to sales-based royalties.
Jose Carlos Gutierrez-Ramos, Ph.D, senior vice president and head of the Immuno-Inflammation Centre of Excellence for Drug Discovery of GSK said, "GSK is committed to becoming a world leader in immuno-inflammation drug discovery by finding transformative medicines through internal efforts and external collaborations. We are excited to be working with Cellzome to discover and develop improved approaches to existing biologic therapies, which cannot access intracellular signaling mechanisms. Cellzome's Kinobeads technology will provide a distinct advantage because it uses native kinases directly isolated from human cells and tissues."
GlaxoSmithKline, Cellzome Enter Strategic Alliance
Published September 10, 2008
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