Constellation Pharmaceuticals and Genentech Enter Broad Epigenetics Drug Discovery Collaboration
Under the terms of the arrangement, Constellation will receive committed funding of $95 million, comprising an upfront payment and research funding for a three-year collaboration period. Constellation will be eligible for substantial development and commercialization milestone payments as well as up to double-digit royalties on commercial sales of multiple products by Genentech. Additionally, Constellation will retain exclusive development and commercialization rights to selected programs emerging from the collaboration, for which payments would be due to Genentech upon the successful commercialization of such products.
The parties will establish a research collaboration addressing multiple epigenetic target classes. Constellation will retain independent strategic direction, operational management and exclusive rights to programs outside of the collaboration scope, including its two most advanced programs that are focused on the development of inhibitors of the BET chromatin reader and EZH2 chromatin writer proteins. Genentech has a future option to acquire all outstanding shares of Constellation based on pre-negotiated terms, which include a significant initial acquisition payment plus contingent value rights payments based on the future successful development and commercialization of multiple products by Genentech. Genentech's option to acquire Constellation includes the BET and EZH2 programs as well as other programs outside the collaboration scope.
"Genentech is a global leader in the research and development of innovative medicines, and in combination with our class-leading product engine and deep expertise in chromatin biology, we will create a powerhouse dedicated to bringing the greatest benefit to patients from drugs that modulate epigenetic pathways," said Mark A. Goldsmith, M.D., Ph.D., president and chief executive officer of Constellation Pharmaceuticals. "This is a groundbreaking partnership in terms of the structure, breadth and potential future clinical impact of products created through our complementary capabilities. The committed revenue and post-collaboration economics should provide a highly attractive return for our investors."
James Sabry, M.D., Ph.D., vice president of Genentech Partnering, added, "We believe Constellation is a leading company in chromatin biology and epigenetics drug discovery and an excellent partner for Genentech in this area. With scientists committed to the collaboration at both Constellation and Genentech working together in a highly integrated way, our goal is to discover and ultimately bring to market promising new therapies for patients with unmet medical needs in oncology, and potentially other therapeutic areas."