NEW YORK, May 14-The German firm Atugen will collaborate on a three year functional genomics research project with Byk Gulden, the pharmaceutical group of Altana AG.
Atugen will validate genetic targets associated with cancer and immunological disease, and develop "GeneBloc" antisense oligonucleotides against these targets. The two companies will use these probes to jointly conduct functional genomics studies in assays and animal models.
The partnership will especially focus on genetic targets in T cells for treatment of inflammatory disease.
Atugen will get an upfront payment, annual licensing fees, research funding and milestone payments, as well as royalties on any probes developed as therapeutics. The company retains rights to all GeneBloc oligonucleotides, and may further develop any targets not pursued by Byk Gulden.
This collaboration builds upon another established last fall, when the two companies agreed to jointly develop cancer-related gene targets.
Atugen is headquartered in Berlin, with a subsidiary in Boulder, Colo.
Byk Gulden, based in Constance, Germany, specializes in therapeutics for gastrointestinal, respiratory tract, and cardiovascular conditions.