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Celera Taps Non-Profit Firm to Develop an Axys Candidate

NEW YORK, Feb. 14 - Celera Genomics on Thursday said that the National Institutes of Health and the Institute for OneWorld Health will co-develop a potential drug candidate it gained through its acquisition of Axys Pharmaceuticals.

Celera has given IOWH exclusive rights to develop its cysteine protease inhibitor CRA-3316, a candidate for Chagas' disease, with no royalty fees or cash payments attached. In exchange, IOWH will be responsible for developing the compound, including creating a drug substance, designing safety studies that might lead to an investigational new-drug categorization, and Phase I clinical trials, Celera said. 

IND-enabling studies are currently underway, and Celera said that human trials may begin sometime this year.

Financial details of the arrangement were not disclosed. It was not immediately clear what role the NIH would play in the development of this candidate.

IOWH is a non-profit company of pharmaceutical scientists who primarily study parasitic diseases, a class to which Chagas' belongs.

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