Celgene, Abide Therapeutics join forces in strategic collaboration

Companies will seek to develop new drugs for inflammation and immunology, utilizing Abide's proprietary technology platform

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SAN DIEGO—Abide Therapeutics, a company focused on the development of medicines targeting serine hydrolases, has announced the establishment of a strategic collaboration with Celgene Corporation for the discovery and development of new drugs for inflammation and immunology.
“This collaboration is a wonderful opportunity for Abide to focus in a therapeutic area that is ideal to explore the full potential of our therapeutic engine. Furthermore, this relationship will support Abide with Celgene’s global expertise in discovery, development and commercialization of novel disease-altering therapies,” Alan Ezekowitz, MBChB, D.Phil, president and CEO of Abide Therapeutics, said in a press release. “The creative terms of this deal enable Abide to focus the components of the drug discovery continuum that we do best. We cannot wait to begin working closely with the team at Celgene.”
Per the terms of the collaboration agreement, Celgene has paid an upfront payment to Abide, though specific financial terms were not disclosed. Celgene will also take an equity stake in Abide—Cardinal Partners, Abide’s existing venture investor, also participated in the equity financing—in addition to retaining an exclusive option to acquire the company. Abide is eligible for additional payments should Celgene choose to exercise its option to license the rest of the world rights on the first two products resulting from this agreement that reach the clinic. Abide also stands to receive additional milestone payments based on the successful development of those programs.
The collaboration includes AB101131, Abide’s most advanced compound, which is expected to begin its first human studies next year. Abide estimates another three to four developmental candidates will be generated during the collaboration with Celgene.
“This collaboration with Abide illustrates our ongoing commitment to enable potentially disruptive technologies in the hands of talented drug hunters, here deployed in unique and powerful approach to target a validated but largely under-explored class of serine hydrolases,” Thomas Daniel, M.D., executive vice president and president of Global Research and Early Development at Celgene, commented in a statement. “We are enthusiastic about the team, the technology, and the potential to create landmark therapies.”
Abide will be utilizing its proprietary technology platform to discovery new therapeutic targets and drug candidates with the potential to treat inflammation and immunological disorders. The company’s platform is capable of selectively and near-universally targeting serine hydrolases, which represent one of the largest enzyme classes in nature with more than 200 members. Serine hydrolases, as Abide notes on its website, “play a key role in regulating CNS signaling, digestion, metabolism, inflammation, blood clotting and life cycle of viruses and pathogens.
SOURCE: Abide Therapeutics press release

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