Epix Pharmaceuticals Achieves Discovery Milestone in Collaboration with GlaxoSmithKline
Three Lead Candidates Identified in First Discovery Program
LEXINGTON, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--EPIX Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:EPIX ) today announced that it has achieved an initial milestone under its collaboration with GlaxoSmithKline (NYSE:GSK) related to the first of three discovery stage programs. Using its proprietary, integrated computational-medicinal chemistry approach to drug discovery, EPIX has identified three lead candidates that will move forward into lead optimization in this first collaborative G-protein coupled receptor (GPCR) discovery program. Under the collaboration, EPIX is entitled to receive a $3 million milestone payment from GSK in the next 30 days.
"We are extremely pleased with the progress of our collaboration with GSK," stated Michael G. Kauffman, M.D., Ph.D., chief executive officer of EPIX. "In addition to our joint focus on developing PRX-03140, our proprietary 5-HT4 agonist, for the treatment of Alzheimer's disease, EPIX and GSK have agreed upon the three discovery program targets and are making significant progress on each program. We are on-schedule and expect to continue moving forward to achieve key milestones across all of our collaborative programs."
In December 2006, EPIX and GSK announced a worldwide multi-target strategic collaboration to discover, develop and market novel medicines targeting four G-protein coupled receptors (GPCRs) for the treatment of a variety of diseases, including EPIX's novel 5-HT4 partial agonist program, PRX-03140, which is in early-stage clinical development for the treatment of Alzheimer's disease. As part of the collaboration, EPIX received total initial payments of $35 million, including $17.5 million through the purchase of its common stock at a premium, and may be eligible to earn up to $1.2 billion in milestones across the four GPCR programs. Under the collaboration, EPIX is also entitled to receive tiered double-digit royalties of sales by GSK on all collaboration-developed product sales. The alliance is conducted through GSK's Center of Excellence for External Drug Discovery (CEEDD).
"We have been impressed by the quality and efficiency of the lead identification process for this collaborative effort between EPIX and GSK," said Hugh Cowley, M.D., head of GSK's Center of Excellence for External Drug Discovery (CEEDD). "In addition to the PRX-03140 program in Alzheimer's disease, we are moving forward with EPIX to discover and develop GPCR candidates for the treatment of a variety of diseases. This marks an initial milestone in what we expect will be a long and productive collaboration."
About the GSK CEEDD
GlaxoSmithKline is enhancing the way it discovers and develops drugs by creating a small dedicated team who will feed the GSK pipeline through the efforts of its external collaborations. In essence, the CEEDD (Center of Excellence for External Drug Discovery) will 'virtualize' a portion of the GSK pipeline; namely, from Target to Clinical PoC, by forming multiple risk-sharing/reward-sharing alliances.
EPIX Pharmaceuticals is a biopharmaceutical company focused on discovering and developing novel therapeutics through the use of its proprietary and highly efficient in silico drug discovery platform. The company has a deep pipeline of internally-discovered drug candidates currently in clinical development to treat diseases of the central nervous system and lung conditions. EPIX also has collaborations with leading organizations, including GlaxoSmithKline, Amgen, Cystic Fibrosis Foundation Therapeutics, and Bayer Schering Pharma AG, Germany. For more information, please visit the company's website at www.epixpharma.com.
This news release contains express or implied forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 that are based on current expectations of management. These statements relate to, among other things, our expectations regarding the future development of our preclinical compounds for our G-protein coupled receptor (GPCR) discovery program, our ability to realize certain benefits under our strategic agreement with GSK, as well as the timing and results of future clinical development of our drug candidates and their potential efficacy, safety and tolerability. These statements are neither promises nor guarantees, but are subject to a variety of risks and uncertainties, many of which are beyond our control, and which could cause actual results to differ materially from those contemplated in these forward-looking statements. In particular, the risks and uncertainties include, among other things: risks that product candidates may fail in the clinic or may not be successfully marketed or manufactured; risks relating to our ability to advance the development of product candidates currently in the pipeline or in clinical trials; failure to obtain the financial resources to complete development of product candidates; our inability to further identify, develop and achieve commercial success for new products and technologies; our inability to achieve commercial success for our products and technologies; our failure to comply with regulations relating to our products and product candidates, including FDA requirements; the risk that the FDA may interpret the results of our studies differently than we have; and risks of new, changing and competitive technologies and regulations in the U.S. and internationally. Existing and prospective investors are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date hereof. We undertake no obligation to update or revise the information contained in this press release, whether as a result of new information, future events or circumstances or otherwise. For additional information regarding these and other risks that we face, see the disclosure contained in our filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including our most recent Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q.
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On behalf of EPIX Pharmaceuticals
Posted: August 2007