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Poniard Pharmaceuticals Announces Licensing Agreement for FAK Technology

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Poniard Pharmaceuticals, Inc. has announced that it has entered into a licensing agreement with an undisclosed party for rights to Poniard's focal adhesion kinase (FAK) technology, including a preclinical candidate that is a selective small molecule inhibitor of FAK.

Under terms of the agreement, Poniard granted the licensee worldwide rights for the development and commercialization of any FAK-related products, including the preclinical candidate, in exchange for an upfront cash payment of $250,000, milestone payments and other considerations, as well as royalty payments on net sales of any products covered by the license.

The licensee is responsible for all costs related to further development and commercialization.

Also known as protein tyrosine kinase 2 (PTK2), FAK is associated with the invasion and metastasis of tumor cells.

Inhibition of FAK activity is thought to decrease the mobility of certain cancer cells, reducing the potential for metastases.

FAK is also thought to play a role in tumor formation and progression. Poniard's FAK technology was developed through a research funding agreement with The Scripps Research Institute.

"Poniard's FAK technology includes novel inhibitors against a pathway which plays a potentially critical role in the proliferation of cancer," said Ronald A. Martell, chief executive officer of Poniard.

Martell continued, "Our discovery and early research efforts in this area began in 2005 under a funded research agreement with the Scripps Research Institute. We look forward to the advancement of this technology and the opportunity to realize potential value through out-licensing and through our proposed merger with ALLOZYNE, which is subject to shareholder approvals."