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Athersys, 3DP Enter Pact to Develop, Commercialize Therapeutics

NEW YORK, Oct. 29 — Athersys and 3-Dimensional Pharmaceuticals on Monday announced a collaboration to discover and commercialize novel small-molecule pharmaceuticals for disease treatment. 

Terms of the deal call for Cleveland-based Athersys to use its functional genomics technology to complement 3-Dimensional Pharmaceuticals’ drug-development and optimization experience. 

Athersys will use its RAGE technology to screen compounds, and 3DP, based in Exton, Pa., will identify and optimize those lead compounds. The two companies will jointly choose research targets, the companies said.

The firms have not disclosed the therapeutic areas, but they will be looking at a variety of targets in the G-protein coupled receptor family of proteins, said Kathryn Garvey, director of planning and investor relations at Athersys.

In some cases, the two firms will share development costs and commercialization rights for potential new drug candidates. In other cases, development and commercialization will be conducted independently.

No other financial details of the collaboration were made public.

The deal represents a new kind of venture for Athersys, added Garvey. “It’s nice for Athersys, because we’re building our own pipeline with this collaboration,” she said. “We’ve done some partnerships, and we’ve done some straightforward 50/50 collaborations. This is the first where we have some joint development, and some exclusivity as well,” she said. 

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