Ensemble Therapeutics Extends Macrocycle Drug Discovery Alliance with Bristol-Myers Squibb
CAMBRIDGE, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Jan 5, 2012 - Ensemble Therapeutics, a biotechnology company developing EnsemblinsTM, a novel class of small molecule therapeutics with the power of biologics, announced today the extension of its strategic alliance with Bristol-Myers Squibb (NYSE: BMS), building on a collaboration initiated in April 2009.
The collaboration with Bristol-Myers Squibb is deploying Ensemble's proprietary drug discovery platforms and Ensemblin compound libraries to discover and advance drug candidates against up to eight pharmaceutical targets for which a strong therapeutic rationale exists but which have not previously been successfully addressed with small molecules. In April 2011, Ensemble announced the achievement of the development of Ensemblins against one of the designated targets in the collaboration, resulting in transition of this drug target program to Bristol-Myers Squibb for further research and optimization and a milestone payment to Ensemble. Under the agreement extension announced today, Ensemble will continue to pursue all collaboration targets.
“Since the outset of our collaboration, Ensemble has made progress to address a set of notoriously difficult protein:protein interaction targets with our novel Ensemblins and related chemistry platforms,” said Dr. Michael D. Taylor, CEO of Ensemble Therapeutics. “The agreement extension announced today allows us to continue the momentum towards developing Ensemblins with the optimized therapeutic criteria for the collaboration programs.”
In April 2009, Ensemble announced that Bristol-Myers Squibb provided an upfront payment of $5 million and expected research payments of $7.5 million to support research programs, and that Ensemble is eligible to receive development milestones of up to $29.5 million per product plus royalties based on worldwide sales of the drugs emerging from the alliance and commercialized by Bristol-Myers Squibb. For the extension of the collaboration announced today, Ensemble will receive additional research funding from Bristol-Myers Squibb.
EnsemblinsTM are a new class of synthetic macrocycles developed by Ensemble using its proprietary chemistry platforms, including DNA-Programmed Chemistry. Macrocyclic rings are found in many natural product-based drugs and bestow favorable pharmaceutical properties and powerful protein surface binding properties upon such drugs. Thus, macrocycles are uniquely suited to address many protein targets that cannot be modulated effectively by traditional small molecule pharmaceutical compounds. Macrocycles have been challenging to synthesize in large numbers and this has constrained their wider use in the industry. By extending beyond the limits of traditional small molecule drug discovery, Ensemble's platform provides unmatched capabilities to successfully and reliably generate millions of macrocyclic Ensemblins as drug candidates, larger than any collection previously synthesized in the pharmaceutical industry.
About Ensemble Therapeutics Corporation
Based in Cambridge, MA, Ensemble Therapeutics is deploying its proprietary chemistry platforms to develop a novel class of therapeutics known as “Ensemblins”. Ensemble is leveraging its macrocycle drug discovery expertise to fuel its proprietary drug candidate pipeline while also pursuing collaborations with pharmaceutical partners. Ensemble has established high-value partnerships including alliances with Bristol-Myers Squibb and Pfizer. Ensemble's internal discovery and development efforts are focused on the key therapeutic areas of oncology and immuno-inflammatory diseases, with its lead program, a small molecule antagonist of Interleukin-17, a cytokine implicated in multiple inflammatory and autoimmune diseases, poised to enter development with an orally active candidate by the end of 2012. For more information, visit: www.ensembletx.com.
Contact: The Yates Network
Gina Nugent, 617-460-3579
Posted: January 2012