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Vertex, Novartis Alliance Targets Protein Kinases

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CAMBRIDGE, Mass.--Vertex Pharmaceuticals and Novartis Pharma have formed an alliance to discover, develop, and commercialize small molecule drugs directed at targets in protein kinases. The collaboration could be worth as much as $800 million to Vertex if it successfully discovers and develops eight compounds. Vertex said its approach involves chemogenom-ics, the union of medicinal chemistry and molecular biology, to speed drug discovery. Novartis will provide Vertex with a $15 million initial payment and further research funding of $200 million over 6 years. Vertex will have responsibility for drug discovery and clinical proof-of-concept testing of drug candidates.

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