Cellzome today announced that it has formed a second strategic alliance with GlaxoSmithKline (GSK). This new collaboration gives GSK exclusive access to Cellzome’s proprietary Episphere™ technology in the emerging field of epigenetics as applied to immunoinflammatory disease. Epigenetic mechanisms play a key role in controlling immune cell differentiation and inflammatory gene expression during an excessive inflammatory response.
Under the terms of the agreement, the companies will work together using Cellzome’s Episphere™ technology platform, to identify selective small-molecule drug candidates against targets from four different epigenetic target classes. The companies will share operational responsibility for the programs until identification of drug candidates, at which stage GSK will assume responsibility for any further preclinical and clinical development and commercialisation.Under the financial terms, Cellzome will receive an upfront payment of €33 million, comprising technology access fees and the purchase of equity. In addition, Cellzome is eligible for milestone payments and tiered royalties for each programme. Milestone payments under this collaboration could reach over €475 million if all programmes under the alliance are successfully developed and commercialised.Tim Edwards, Chief Executive Officer of Cellzome, said: “We are delighted to form another major alliance with GSK, using our leading technology and people to find transformative medicines in this exciting field of biology. Combining forces with GSK will accelerate the development of new anti-inflammatory drugs for the benefit of patients.”