GlaxoSmithKline and Archemix Form Strategic Alliance to Develop Aptamers to Treat Inflammatory Diseases
News Dec 26, 2008
GlaxoSmithKline and Archemix Corp. have announced a worldwide strategic alliance to discover, develop and commercialize aptamer therapeutics to treat inflammatory diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis and inflammatory bowel disease. Aptamers are synthesized oligonucleotides, or short nucleic acid sequences, that bind to proteins with high affinity and specificity.
The alliance leverages Archemix’s expertise and intellectual property position in the discovery and development of aptamer therapeutics and provides GSK with an option to license product candidates directed at seven different aptamer targets with relevance in inflammatory disease.
Under the terms of the agreement, Archemix will receive $27.5 million in upfront payments from GSK, including a $6.5 million equity investment by GSK in the company. Archemix could also be eligible to receive up to $200 million in development, regulatory and sales milestone payments for each of the seven aptamer therapeutics which may be discovered and developed as part of the alliance. Archemix would also receive tiered royalties up to lower double digits on worldwide sales of products that may result from the alliance.
“We are very excited about this collaboration with GSK. GSK is an outstanding partner with leadership and expertise in inflammation, and we look forward to expanding our efforts in inflammation where aptamers could offer novel options to treat disease,” said Errol DeSouza, Ph.D., President and Chief Executive Officer of Archemix.
“This is another step forward in our strategy to leverage our intellectual property estate together with our significant internal capabilities in order to develop aptamers for a variety of therapeutic areas with key partners who are experts in their field,” DeSouza said.
Archemix will be responsible for the discovery and development of the aptamer therapeutics through completion of clinical proof of mechanism, unless GSK chooses to exercise its option earlier. After exercise of the option, GSK will have an exclusive license to drug product candidates developed under each programme by Archemix for the relevant aptamer target for further development and commercialization on a worldwide basis.
Archemix will have the right to further develop and commercialize any aptamer therapeutics which GSK chooses not to develop or commercialize.