Infinity Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Announces Major Drug Discovery, Development And Commercialization Alliance In Oncology; Worth Up To $400 Million
CAMBRIDGE, Mass., March 6 /PRNewswire/ -- Infinity Pharmaceuticals, Inc. today announced it has entered into a global strategic alliance with Novartis to discover, develop and commercialize drugs targeting Bcl-2 protein family members for the treatment of a broad range of cancer indications. Members of the Bcl-2 family of proteins have long been known to facilitate cancer cell survival; nevertheless, it has proven very difficult to disrupt their function using traditional small molecule drug approaches. The focus of this collaboration combines Infinity's expertise in innovative, small molecule chemistries and mechanisms of cancer cell survival with Novartis' leadership in cancer drug discovery and development in order to bring important therapies to patients worldwide.
"This collaboration in an area with as much potential as Bcl-2 antagonism represents an opportunity for a significant advancement in the creation of important new therapies for cancer patients," said Julian Adams, Ph.D., Chief Scientific Officer, Infinity. "Infinity is delighted that Novartis has expanded beyond our existing chemistry technology alliance into this product discovery, development and commercialization partnership."
The Bcl-2 family of proteins (including Bcl-2 and Bcl-xL) mediate cancer cell survival through protein-protein interactions. These protein-protein interactions are considered extremely important points for drug intervention in cancer, but have been historically "un-druggable" with traditional small molecule chemistries. Infinity's proprietary small molecule chemistry, Diversity Oriented Synthesis (DOS), has enabled the Company to create diverse, natural product-like compounds that modulate this challenging, yet well- validated family of targets. Infinity has utilized its DOS chemistry to develop selective Bcl-2 inhibitors as well as dual Bcl-2 / Bcl-xL inhibitors. These selective and dual inhibitors have the potential to treat a broad range of solid tumors and hematologic malignancies. "We are excited to be partnering again with our colleagues from Infinity," said Jeremy Levin, Global Head of Strategic Alliances for the Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research. "This collaboration will leverage Infinity's expertise in developing smart chemical libraries with Novartis' expertise in drug discovery and development in order to bring innovative therapies to patients."
In January 2005, Infinity and Novartis announced a separate alliance in which Infinity is using its DOS chemistry technologies to create a unique compound collection for use in each company's own, independent drug discovery and development efforts. Infinity's Bcl-2 inhibitors, generated independently by Infinity outside the scope of the existing Novartis compound collaboration, provide both companies the opportunity to extend their relationship into the optimization, clinical development and marketing of DOS-originated drug candidates.
Terms of the Agreement
Under the terms of the agreement, Infinity will receive $30M in upfront license fees, an equity investment and committed research funding over the first two years of the relationship. Along with success-based milestones, total payments to Infinity could exceed $400M. In addition, Infinity will receive royalties upon successful commercialization of products developed in the alliance. In further support of the Company, Novartis will invest in an Infinity public offering, should it occur within two years. The two companies will conduct joint research to identify molecules for clinical development and, thereafter, Infinity may participate in clinical development, which will be led by Novartis worldwide. Upon commercialization, Infinity has an option to co-commercialize Bcl-2 family inhibitors in the U.S.
About Bcl Inhibition
Bcl-2 family proteins are key regulators of programmed cell death, or apoptosis. By up-regulating Bcl-2 and related protein family members, many cancers become increasingly resistant to chemotherapy and escape apoptosis. Inhibitors of Bcl-2 family proteins are expected to work as single agents in B cell malignancies that are dependent on Bcl-2 family members for their survival (e.g., follicular lymphoma, chronic lymphocytic leukemia and diffuse large B cell lymphoma). In addition, since a main function of Bcl-2 family proteins is to enhance the survival of cancer cells, it is expected that Bcl-2 family antagonists will work in combination to sensitize a broad range of solid tumors to currently available chemotherapeutics.
About Infinity's Diversity Oriented Synthesis
Infinity uses its proprietary chemistry, Diversity Oriented Synthesis (DOS), to create collections of innovative, diverse, natural product-like compounds for drug discovery. Through alliances that have provided Infinity with over $60M in upfront and committed funds, as well as potential milestone and royalty payments, Amgen, Novartis and Johnson & Johnson are using Infinity's collection of DOS compounds in their own drug discovery efforts. While Infinity has non-exclusively licensed subsets of its compound collection to these pharmaceutical partners, the alliance with Novartis announced today represents Infinity's first partnership involving cancer drug candidates developed by Infinity from its DOS compound collection.
About Infinity Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
Infinity is an innovative cancer drug discovery and development company that leverages its strength in small molecule technologies to bring important new medicines to patients.
Editor's Note: This release is available in the Media Room section of the Infinity website at http://www.ipi.com.
Contacts: Adelene Q. Perkins Paul Kidwell (media) Chief Business Officer Kidwell Public Relations Infinity Pharmaceuticals, Inc. 617-296-3854 617-453-1104 firstname.lastname@example.orgAdelene.Perkins@ipi.comInfinity Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
CONTACT: Adelene Q. Perkins, Chief Business Officer of InfinityPharmaceuticals, Inc., +1-617-453-1104, Adelene.Perkins@ipi.com; or PaulKidwell of Kidwell Public Relations, +1-617-296-3854,email@example.com
Web site: http://www.ipi.com//