FORMA delivers second Phase 1-ready compound under Celgene alliance

FORMA Therapeutics achieves clinical candidate licensing milestone for NASH compound in strategic alliance with Celgene Corporation

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WATERTOWN, Mass.—FORMA Therapeutics announced Aug. 21 that it has successfully met its second preclinical development candidate milestone in a strategic collaboration agreement with Celgene Corporation. That deal was originally announced in April 2014, and under it FORMA and Celgene were to discover, develop and commercialize drug candidates.
This collaboration enables Celgene to evaluate named clinical candidate profiles and elect to license development and commercialization rights in a stepwise manner, upon FORMA’s successful completion of defined preclinical and clinical activities. Celgene has obtained an exclusive EU license for a defined clinical program and related compounds for use in non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), in exchange for an undisclosed payment to FORMA. Under the terms of the collaboration agreement, FORMA will advance this program through the end of Phase 1, and Celgene will be responsible thereafter for all further global clinical development for the licensed candidate. Phase 1 studies are planned to begin later this year.
NASH is a serious liver disease affecting up to 10 percednt of the adult population in the United States. This chronic condition is hallmarked by metabolic dysfunction and excessive fat accumulation in the liver, or steatosis, which can ultimately promote inflammation and hepatocellular injury. As a result, a substantial fraction of those afflicted with NASH can progress to cirrhosis where liver transplantation currently represents the only viable treatment option.
Dr. Rupert Vessey, president of research and early development at Celgene, noted: “Celgene remains committed to the advancement of highly differentiated programs that allow us to advance the course of healthcare through innovative therapeutic solutions that benefit patients, healthcare and society. FORMA continues to demonstrate a unique discovery approach and high level of productivity.”
“FORMA’s exploration of epigenetic, metabolic and protein homeostatic protein families, coupled with the ability to rapidly discover and deliver qualified clinical candidates against medically-important targets, will hopefully offer promise to patients worldwide,” added Dr. John Hohneker, executive vice president and head of FORMA R&D. “This milestone demonstrates our productive collaboration with Celgene which continues to provide a unique opportunity to build an innovative pipeline of novel therapies relevant to many therapeutic areas.”

SOURCE: FORMA/Celgene news release

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