OSI Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and AVEO Pharmaceuticals, Inc. announced that they have entered into a small molecule drug discovery and translational research collaboration. The alliance is anchored around developing molecular targeted therapies that target the underlying mechanisms of epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) in cancer, a process of emerging significance in tumor development and disease progression and the focal point of OSI’s proprietary oncology research efforts.
The companies will collaborate to develop proprietary target-driven tumor models for use in drug screening and biomarker validation, and intend to deploy these systems in support of OSI drug discovery and clinical programs.
Under the terms of the agreement, OSI will pay AVEO a total upfront of $10 million in cash and purchase equity valued at approximately $5 million. OSI will also pay AVEO research funding, and milestones and royalties upon successful development and commercialization of products from the collaboration.
“We are delighted to announce this collaboration with AVEO,” stated Colin Goddard, Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer of OSI Pharmaceuticals. “AVEO’s unique suite of in vivo models and associated research tools ideally supplements and complements our own rapidly emerging expertise in EMT. The collaboration fits squarely within our strategic and financial planning goals which seek to build fundamental shareholder value by emphasizing – in addition to execution on our Tarceva program, financial performance and developing and owning our own core pipeline assets – the need to establish a strong, differentiated research platform.”
As part of the collaboration, OSI will provide expertise in defining EMT in both AVEO models and in human tumor tissue. AVEO will provide access to its extensive databases of tumor targets identified from AVEO genetic screens, focusing on tumor maintenance genes that drive EMT. AVEO will further utilize its HRP™ platform to develop in vivo tumor models driven by the EMT target genes of interest, validating key EMT targets and creating critical tools for drug discovery and translational research.
OSI will conduct small molecule drug discovery programs on a defined number of EMT and tumor-maintenance targets validated by AVEO. The companies will collaborate on translational research programs concerning key OSI development programs. OSI will be responsible for the development and commercialization of all clinical candidates from the collaboration. Rights to antibodies and antibody-related biologics against those targets are retained by AVEO.