The companies have elected to expand the scope of their collaboration to include an additional disease target against which Pharmacopeia is expected to produce candidates for Neurocrine.
"We are very excited about our collaboration with Neurocrine as it enables us to apply our proven drug discovery and development platform to central nervous system and metabolic disease targets," said Les Browne, Ph.D., President and Chief Executive Officer of Pharmacopeia.
"We have enjoyed a productive collaboration with Neurocrine to date and look forward to continuing our success by delivering high-value candidates against this latest disease target."
In 2003, Pharmacopeia and Neurocrine established their existing collaboration with the goal of producing compounds against multiple disease targets that Neurocrine would advance into development and onto the market.
Since the collaboration's initiation, Pharmacopeia has delivered Neurocrine a number of compounds against selected disease targets.
"The earlier screening campaign led to an active series which was optimized in a collaboration involving scientists from both companies. With that successful result in hand, a second target was selected," said John Saunders, Ph.D., Senior Vice President, Research (Chemistry) of Neurocrine Biosciences.
"Moving forward, we look to build on our success by obtaining additional hits capable of being optimized towards more drug-like molecules."
Based on the terms of the collaboration, Pharmacopeia is entitled to receive milestone payments from Neurocrine if collaboration programs progress into and through clinical development.
Additionally, if therapeutic products are marketed based on compounds derived from the collaboration, Pharmacopeia will be entitled to receive royalties on sales.
"Our strategic collaborations allow us to mitigate drug development risk and increase the breadth of our partnered product pipeline while also funding our high-value internal drug development programs through milestone and royalty payments," stated Dr. Browne.
"Through this approach to partnerships we are driving value for Pharmacopeia and its shareholders by best positioning the Company for long-term success."
Pharmacopeia currently has ten compounds in development, each partnered with a major pharmaceutical or biotechnology company. Six of these compounds are in preclinical development.
Four compounds (representing three partnered, therapeutic programs) are currently in Phase I clinical trials for rheumatoid arthritis, an allergy/asthma indication and an inflammation indication.
Pharmacopeia will receive milestone payments for those programs that advance through clinical development and royalties on the sales of any compounds that are ultimately commercialized.