An Almac company has signed a multi-million deal with a leading Californian pharmaceutical firm to license and further develop a new “breakthrough” cancer drug.
The drug molecules work by blocking the activity of a cancer pathway which is believed to play a key role in tumour development.
A spokesperson for Almac Discovery said, “Despite the significant interest within the industry, the development of molecules which block the pathway has so far proven extremely difficult, so the identification of potent, drug-like molecules represents a major breakthrough for the field, and has the potential to advance the standard of care for people with cancer.”
Under the terms of the agreement, Almac Discovery, which was set up to discover and develop innovative approaches to the treatment of cancer, will receive an upfront payment of $14.5 million and be eligible to receive up to $349 million in milestone payments plus tiered royalties on potential commercial sales .
The deal is the starting point for a two-year joint research programme funded by Genentech. The company will also be responsible for all pre-clinical and clinical development and commercialisation of products arising from the collaboration.
Stephen Barr, president of Almac Discovery, said, “We are delighted to enter into this partnership with Genentech, a like-minded research driven organisation.
“Genentech is an undoubted leader in oncology development and this, coupled with their indepth knowledge in the USP area, is the perfect complement for us.
“We feel confident that Genentech is the best partner to expedite the translation of our medicinal chemistry and biology efforts into the clinic.”