The collaboration will focus on the discovery of antibody targets and novel therapeutic protein products to treat certain areas of cancer and diabetes.
Under the collaboration, FivePrime will screen its comprehensive protein library in both cell-based assays and primary in vivo screens directed toward finding potential therapeutic protein products and antibody targets.
Upon the commencement of the collaboration, FivePrime will receive an up-front payment and an equity investment from Pfizer and three years of committed research funding.
Pfizer will have exclusive worldwide rights to develop and commercialize certain products and targets discovered during the research term, in exchange for future milestones and royalties. Further details of the agreement have not been disclosed.
“Pfizer’s commitment to biotherapeutics and its extensive development and commercialization capabilities are an ideal match for FivePrime’s powerful biologics discovery platform. This combination will increase the likelihood and speed of discovering and developing new biotherapeutics for patients in need,” stated Lewis T. (“Rusty”) Williams, MD, PhD, FivePrime’s Founder and Executive Chairman.
FivePrime’s existing investors made a co-investment in FivePrime in conjunction with Pfizer’s equity purchase. “This is a very significant transaction for FivePrime,” commented Gail Maderis, President and CEO of FivePrime. “It provides the financial runway to take several of our oncology products into clinical trials in addition to greatly expanding our discovery efforts.”
A key component of the collaboration is FivePrime’s comprehensive, rapid protein discovery system. Its protein screening library contains essentially all human secreted proteins and their receptors, including many that are unavailable in public collections.