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Web Date: December 13, 2007

GSK Partnerships Target Infectious Disease, Cancer

British drug giant works with Galapagos and OncoMed
Department: Business | Collection: Stem Cells, Life Sciences

GlaxoSmithKline and Galapagos have formed an antibacterial and antivirus drug discovery and development partnership under which Galapagos will grant GSK options to license natural product candidates directed against up to six anti-infective discovery targets.

Galapagos' BioFocus DPI service division, a U.K.-based operation, will be responsible for the discovery and development of natural product small-molecule drug candidates through clinical proof of concept, at which point GSK will have the option of licensing compounds for further development and commercialization. Galapagos will receive an up-front payment of $5.1 million and up to $316 million in total payments for one marketed product, plus royalties.

GSK is pursuing the partnership through its newly created Infectious Disease Center of Excellence for Drug Discovery. "ID CEDD has been focusing on discovering novel antibiotics and antivirals, and the natural product collections from BioFocus DPI have the potential to address our needs," says Zhi Hong, head of ID CEDD.

A separate alliance between GSK's Center of Excellence for External Drug Discovery (CEEDD) and Redwood City, Calif.-based OncoMed Pharmaceuticals will discover, develop, and commercialize antibody therapies that target cancer stem cells believed to play a key role in the establishment, metastasis, and recurrence of cancer. The work will be based on OncoMed's expertise in the discovery and development of cancer stem cell antibody therapeutics using its in vivo xenograft cancer stem cell models.

GSK will have an option to license four product candidates from OncoMed's library of monoclonal antibodies. OncoMed will receive an unspecified up-front payment as well as an undisclosed equity investment. The company is also eligible to earn milestone payments of up to $2 billion from GSK. The alliance includes OncoMed's lead antibody product candidate, OMP-21M18, a monoclonal antibody scheduled to enter the clinic next year.

"We believe that targeting cancer stem cells has the potential to change the paradigm of how oncology patients are treated," says Hugh Cowley, senior vice president of CEEDD.

 
Chemical & Engineering News
ISSN 0009-2347
Copyright © American Chemical Society

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