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GlaxoSmithKline in Deal with Muscle Drug Maker

From Associated Press (August 3, 2010)

NEW YORK -- Privately held drug developer Five Prime Therapeutics Inc. said Tuesday it entered a partnership with GlaxoSmithKline PLC that could be worth more than $139 million.

In the deal, GlaxoSmithKline will have the option to develop drugs discovered by Five Prime as treatments for skeletal muscle disorders like sarcopenia and cachexia. Five Prime said it will receive $15 million from GlaxoSmithKline this year. That sum will be composed of upfront payments, the purchase of Five Prime equity by GlaxoSmithKline, and payments related to research.

Sarcopenia is the loss of muscle mass, strength and function related to age. Cachexia is wasting and loss of weight and muscle mass caused by diseases like cancer and AIDS.

The San Francisco company said it could receive additional research payments from 2011 to 2013, and as much as $124 million in option and milestone payments. If any of the drugs are successfully developed and approved for sale, Five Prime would get royalties on sales.

GlaxoSmithKline is based in London, and it is one of the world's largest drug companies. It will have the option to license the drug candidates and take over preclinical research and development and clinical testing, along with sales if the products are approved.


Posted: August 2010