NEW YORK, Aug. 6-Exelixis and Bristol-Myers Squibb have agreed to prolong their target identification collaboration for an additional two years, Exelixis said today.
In their "mechanism of action" partnership, which began in 1999, Exelixis uses its comparative genetics and functional genomics capabilities to identify the targets of compounds supplied by the pharmaceutical company. That information is then used to improve the specificity and potency of potential drugs.
The partners did not reveal financial terms of the collaboration.
Exelixis also said today that it had received a "significant" milestone payment from Bristol-Myers Squibb based on the selection of a set of validated targets for cancer treatment, including genes involved in p53-mediated apoptosis.
The payment comes out of a collaboration struck in July 2001to develop drugs that destroy those cancers arising from defects in tumor suppressor gene pathways. Exelixis' role in this partnership is to identify and validate targets that trigger cancer cell death. In exchange, the company has an option to retain rights on some of these targets. Bristol-Myers made a $20 million equity investment and provides the company with a minimum of $3 million a year in licensing fees and research support.
Exelixis is a publicly held company based in South San Francisco, Calif.
For additional information about its partnerships with Bristol-Myers, see the press releases.