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CuraGen, Alexion Ink Drug-Target, Validation Alliance

NEW YORK, March 12 - CuraGen and Alexion Pharmaceuticals on Tuesday said they have signed a deal to discover and validate cancer-related biologic and small-molecule drug targets.

Terms of the multi-year agreement, which may grow in the future to include other diseases, call for CuraGen to apply its functional genomic technologies to help Alexion identify drug targets from data the biotech company will provide.

Alexion, of Cheshire, Conn., will use its CoALT antibody-discovery tool to validate the targets, the partners said. The company will own the rights to develop and commercialize all antibody and small-molecule therapeutics against drug targets while CuraGen, based in New Haven, Conn., will retain rights to potential non-antibody protein therapeutics.

CuraGen also is eligible to receive licensing fees, development-milestone payments, and royalties on pharma products developed as a result of the deal.

Financial details of the alliance were not disclosed.

"Alexion scientists will select novel antibody targets to feed their growing antibody therapeutic pipeline, while CuraGen scientists will select novel proteins we would not otherwise identify to enhance our existing protein therapeutics pipeline," Christopher K. McLeod, executive vice president of CuraGen, said in a statement.

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