MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA--(Marketwired - January 07, 2014) - Amunix Operating Inc. (Amunix) announced today that Janssen Biotech, Inc. (Janssen) has expanded its existing worldwide research collaboration and licensing agreement with Amunix, increasing the number of available options for potential products. Under the terms of the agreement, Amunix will combine its XTEN half-life technology with the additional therapeutic molecules selected by Janssen over the duration of the agreement. Janssen will be responsible for all preclinical and clinical development as well as for manufacturing and commercialization of all resulting products.
The original agreement provided Amunix with an initial upfront payment and an option payment together with research funding for each exercised option. The current expansion of the agreement provides new option payment terms and research funding for additional products in addition to milestone and royalty payments for each option. Further financial terms will not be disclosed.
"We are extremely pleased with the progress of our collaboration with Janssen," said Volker Schellenberger, PhD, Amunix President and CEO. "Amunix's XTEN half-life extension platform is applicable to a wide range of drug classes, whether by recombinant or conjugation methodologies, thus enabling the advancement of enhanced pharmaceuticals in numerous therapeutic areas."
Amunix Operating Inc., based in Mountain View, CA, is a privately-held biotechnology company focused on the discovery and development of novel therapeutics with improved in vivo half-lives. Amunix's half-life extension technology is based on XTEN; hydrophilic, unstructured, biodegradable polypeptides that impart a number of favorable properties upon the molecules to which it is attached. XTEN can be recombinantly fused or chemically conjugated to peptides, proteins, and other pharmaceuticals. Besides the advantages of reduced dosing frequency, XTENylation also stabilizes plasma drug concentrations, which often results in increased efficacy as well as reduced side effects. Two genetically fused XTENylated products, VRS-859 (Exenatide-XTEN) and VRS-317 (Human Growth Hormone-XTEN) have completed Phase 1 studies. VRS-317, through Amunix partner Versartis, is currently undergoing a Phase 2 clinical trial in children with growth hormone deficiency. Amunix is also working with Biogen-Idec in the hemophilia space, as well as with other undisclosed partners in various other therapeutic areas. Amunix is actively seeking partnerships for application of its XTEN technology. For additional information about the company, please visit www.amunix.com.