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FORMA Announces Collaboration with Novartis to Develop Inhibitors of Protein-Protein Interactions

Published: Tuesday, January 13, 2009
Last Updated: Tuesday, January 13, 2009
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FORMA will leverage its expertise to develop inhibitors for an undisclosed protein-protein interaction target in the field of oncology.

FORMA Therapeutics announced has entered into a license and option agreement through the Novartis Option Fund. Under the terms of the agreement, FORMA will leverage its transformative biology and chemistry platform to develop inhibitors for an undisclosed protein-protein interaction target in the field of oncology. The agreement includes an upfront fee and potential milestones totaling over $200 million as well as royalties.

“Protein-protein interactions represent important target opportunities in the field of oncology drug discovery, but have been highly elusive to date,” stated Reinhard Ambros, Head of the Novartis Venture Funds. “Novartis is very excited to be collaborating with FORMA to access their biology and chemistry expertise and powerful discovery tools to unlock this challenging target class.”

“Working collaboratively with Novartis on these targets provides us with the opportunity to fully leverage our integrated drug discovery platform to accelerate the advancement of oncology programs into clinical development,” said Steven Tregay, CEO of FORMA. “We believe that this collaboration provides important validation for FORMA’s unique approach to drug discovery for challenging targets.”

FORMA claims to be uniquely positioned through its combination of technological capabilities and oncology expertise to access such novel target space and to develop a new generation of breakthrough oncology drugs. Some of the key features of FORMA’s discovery capabilities include:

• Versatile cell-based screening platform which allows the screening of discrete targets in cells and quantitative genome/proteome-wide profiling and target identification.

• Accessing new chemical space through structure guided drug discovery (SGDD) approaches leveraging proprietary computational and structural biology combined with our integrated chemistry platform which incorporates Diversity Orientated Synthesis (DOS). DOS combines the high stereochemical and structural diversity found in natural products with traditional combinatorial chemistry techniques.

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