Celgene and Agios Extend Cancer Metabolism Collaboration
Reflects strong progress in partnership focused on exploring the transformational science of cancer metabolism
Cambridge, Mass. – October 5, 2011 – Agios Pharmaceuticals, the leading biopharmaceutical company focused on discovering and developing novel drugs in the rapidly emerging field of cancer metabolism, today announced that Celgene Corporation (NASDAQ: CELG) and Agios have agreed, ahead of schedule, to extend the initial period of exclusivity of the companies’ April 2010 collaboration agreement from three to four years. During this period, Celgene has an exclusive option to drug candidates generated by Agios’ cancer metabolism research platform. Under the terms of the new agreement, Agios will now receive a $20 million payment. Celgene also has the ability to extend the exclusive collaboration period further in the future, for additional payments.
“In the first 18 months of our collaboration, we have made significant progress and have been extremely impressed by the caliber of the team, the science, and the unique research capabilities that Agios brings to this alliance,” said Thomas Daniel, M.D., president of research for Celgene. “As this early extension decision demonstrates, we are enthusiastic about the potential of Agios’ industry-leading approach targeting cancer metabolism to drive the development of multiple innovative, first-in-class cancer therapies.”
Under the terms of the original agreement announced in April 2010, Agios received a $130 million upfront payment, including an equity investment. Agios leads discovery and early translational development for all cancer metabolism programs, while Celgene has an exclusive option to license any resulting clinical candidates at the end of Phase I, and will lead and fund global development and commercialization of some of the licensed programs. Agios retains development and commercialization rights for certain products in the United States. On all programs, Agios may receive up to $120 million in milestones as well as royalties on sales.
“Celgene’s decision to extend our collaboration much earlier than required demonstrates their dedication to our partnership and to the promise of the field of cancer metabolism generally,” said David Schenkein, M.D., chief executive officer of Agios. “This alliance has enabled Agios to identify and advance a broad portfolio of cancer metabolism discovery programs. We have an extremely productive relationship with Celgene, whose team shares our deep commitment to the potential of cancer metabolism to transform patient outcomes ”
About Cancer Metabolism
Cancer metabolism is a new and exciting field of biology that provides a novel approach to treating cancer. Cancer cell metabolism is marked by profound changes in nutrient requirements and usage to ensure cell proliferation and survival. Research in the field has demonstrated that cancer cells become addicted to certain fuel sources and metabolic pathways. In cancer, this metabolic reprogramming is coordinated with proliferative signaling and regulated by the same oncogenes and tumor suppressor genes to ensure efficient proliferation. Glycolysis (sugar metabolism), fatty acid metabolism and autophagy (self metabolism) are three pathways shown to play a critical role in cancer metabolism. Identifying and disrupting certain enzymes in these, and perhaps other, metabolic pathways provides a powerful intervention point for discovery and development of cancer therapeutics.
About Agios Pharmaceuticals
Agios Pharmaceuticals is the first biopharmaceutical company dedicated to the discovery and development of novel therapeutics in the emerging field of cancer metabolism. To support and drive these efforts, Agios has built a robust platform integrating cancer biology, metabolomics, biochemistry and informatics to enable target and biomarker identification. Agios’ capabilities to interrogate differential cellular metabolism of diseased cells relative to normal cells may also be applicable to other therapeutics areas including autoimmune, inflammatory and neurological diseases. The company’s founders represent the core thought leaders in the field of cancer metabolism, responsible for key advances, insights and discoveries in the field. Agios Pharmaceuticals is located in Cambridge, Massachusetts. For more information, please visit the company's website at www.agios.com.