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Cellzome Hits Two Milestones in GSK Kinase Research Pact

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This story originally ran on Sept. 14.

Proteomics firm Cellzome said this week it has hit a clinical candidate milestone and a lead declaration milestone as part of its agreement with GlaxoSmithKline for the use of its Kinobeads chemoproteomic kinase research platform.

Under the agreement, which the two companies signed in September 2008, achievement of these milestones triggers undisclosed payments from GSK.

The 2008 deal established an alliance using the Kinobeads technology to identify, develop, and market kinase-targeted therapeutics for inflammatory diseases. GSK has exclusive options to license drug candidates from Cellzome's kinase programs directed against seven targets, with Cellzome developing these programs to clinical proof of concept unless GSK chooses to exercise its option earlier.

Cellzome netted a £14.4 million ($22.6 million) upfront payment in cash and equity from the agreement and could receive up to £118 million per kinase program in milestone payments and up to double-digit royalties on net sales of products resulting from the alliance.

According to Cellzome, the clinical candidate identified as part of the milestone announced this week "is highly selective for its kinase target and has limited and precise effects on immune cell functions as well as a good in vivo safety profile."

In addition to the Kinobeads deal, the two companies last year signed an agreement for the use of Cellzome's Episphere technology for epigenetic research on immunoinflammatory diseases. As part of that deal, Cellzome received a €33 million ($45 million) up-front payment, and if the programs under the alliance are successfully developed and commercialized, the company could be eligible for milestone payments of over €475 million (GWDN 3/10/2010).

Cellzome hit its first milestone in that collaboration in December 2010 and its second in February of this year (PM 2/11/2011).

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