PIramed Limited has announced that it has entered into R&D collaboration with Genentech, Inc. regarding a new class of cancer drugs. The drugs target PI 3-kinase, a key intracellular enzyme involved in a broad range of cancers.
Under the terms of the Agreement, PIramed will receive an upfront payment and may receive milestone payments during development and on product approval up to a potential aggregate of approximately US$230 million.
The company will also receive research funding and will receive royalties on product sales in the event of commercialised products.
PIramed will conduct preclinical research with Genentech and Genentech will be solely responsible for clinical development, regulatory approvals, manufacturing and commercialisation.
As part of the collaboration, PIramed can opt to commercialise certain products in territories outside of the United States on agreed terms.
PIramed is backed by JP Morgan Partners and Merlin Biosciences and is focused on drug discovery in oncology.
Commenting on the collaboration Dr Michael Moore, Chief Executive Officer of PIramed, said, "We believe this alliance with Genentech is one of the largest preclinical collaborations ever signed by a UK biotechnology company and is an important deal for PIramed."
"We believe it validates PIramed’s leadership position in this novel approach to drug discovery and provides the Company with additional resources to develop its growing portfolio of small molecule drug candidates."
"The option to commercialise outside of the United States is important for PIramed as it provides the company with the opportunity of retaining significant upside out of a successful collaboration with Genentech."
Dr David Knowles, Chief Scientific Officer of PIramed, said, "PI 3-kinase represents an important new therapeutic target in oncology and inhibitors have the potential to treat a range of common tumours affecting a large population of patients."
"Partnering the programme at this stage provides the resources necessary to maximise this therapeutic opportunity."