Deals Of The Week: Isis Rethinks Its Partnering Strategy
Capitalizing on the interest that partners are showing in its beefed-up antisense pipeline, Isis has reset its partnering strategy to maximize the value of each asset. In other developments, Ensemble snagged Novartis in a discovery collaboration and Amgen returned glucokinase activator AMG 151 to Array.
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Ensemble Therapeutics Corp. believes that its large-scale libraries of chemicals with macrocyclic structures will yield worthy drug candidates and ultimately marketable therapeutics. The hefty size of macrocyclic compounds is the key characteristic that Ensemble is banking on. Whereas small molecules generally interact with their targets by binding to them, Ensemble thinks macrocycles will be big enough to spread across the surface of disease-relevant proteins and so physically disrupt interactions that smaller molecules are too weak to influence. If so, macrocycles could hit targets that only protein therapeutics can address now, and potentially do so orally.
The deal for ARRY-403 includes up to $666 million in milestones, a two-year research-funding agreement and U.S. co-promotion option.
The independent, family-controlled German group has signed a third R&D pact with Danish biotech Gubra to develop poly-agonist peptides for obesity.