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Glaxo Wellcome, NeXstar Announce Collaboration

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BOULDER, Colo.--NeXstar Pharmaceuticals here announced a three-part collaboration with Glaxo Wellcome. The agreement grants Glaxo nonexclusive use of NeXstar's proprietary Selex drug discovery process, a combinatorial chemistry technology, as a research tool for target validation in Glaxo's functional genomics program. Additionally, NeXstar will receive exclusive rights to develop and commercialize a liposomal formulation of Glaxo's proprietary topoisomerase I inhibitor, a compound that has completed phase two clinical trials for the treatment of various cancers in its nonliposomal form. Glaxo will also make a $10 million equity investment in NeXstar, purchasing 962,117 shares of NeXstar common stock for $10.39 per share.

NeXstar CEO Patrick Mahaffy said Glaxo's interest in using the Selex technology for target validation "highlights the potential for aptamers to significantly speed up and improve drug discovery and development programs." Mahaffy said his company is also enthusiastic about the opportunity to develop liposomal lurtotecan.

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