Greater than the sum: CombinatoRx-Angiotech partnership to focus on combinations of therapeutic options

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CAMBRIDGE, Mass.—June 12, 2007—With the successful advancement of products from their initial R&D collaboration, CombinatoRx and Angiotech Pharmaceuticals announced they would double the length of their collaboration to five years. The extension will result in a $7 million payment to CombinatoRx before October 3, 2007.
VANCOUVER—February 16, 2006—Looking to snap up an even larger share of the therapeutic device market, Angiotech Pharmaceuticals announced it had filed notification with the U.S. Department of Justice and Federal Trade Commission of its plans to acquire American Medical Instruments Holdings. If accepted, Angiotech will pay $785 million in cash to RoundTable Healthcare Partners for the specialty medical device manufacturer.
BOSTON—CombinatoRx and Vancouver, Canada-based Angiotech Pharmaceuticals have embarked on a multi-year research and license agreement for the discovery, development and potential commercialization by Angiotech of drug devices and interventional medicine products built from innovative drug combinations.
Under the terms of the agreement, Angiotech will make an up-front license payment of $27 million to CombinatoRx in addition to a $15 million equity investment in CombinatoRx. This entitles Angiotech to license up to 10 CombinatoRx compounds, and the company may license up to five more compounds for an additional payment of $2 million per compound. CombinatoRx is eligible to receive development and regulatory milestone payments of up to $30 million for each product selected by Angiotech for development, in addition to royalties on cumulative commercial sales of such products.
The collaboration will initially focus on vascular, orthopedic and general surgery indications. Richard Forrester, executive vice president and chief financial officer for CombinatoRx, indicates that the partnership will likely focus, at least in part, on drug-device combinations, as this is the specialty area of Angiotech, which provides drug-delivering stents and similar therapeutics.
But drug-drug combinations will also be a factor in the research, notes Todd Young, Angiotech's vice president for investor relations and communications, as the agreement is intended to combine CombinatoRx's experience in the systematic discovery of potential combination drugs with Angiotech's expertise in drug-device combinations and local interventional medicines.
"We develop our combination drugs based on the understanding that many diseases affect the body through multiple biological pathways," Forrester notes. "Traditional drug discovery has focused on agents that target a single biological pathway. But we believe that by targeting multiple pathways, we can create synergistic therapeutic effects which could result in improved treatments for many diseases."
CombinatoRx has granted Angiotech an option to evaluate and exclusively license compounds selected by Angiotech from the CombinatoRx clinical and preclinical pipeline and proprietary Chalice database of drug combinations for development and potential commercialization in certain medical device and local interventional applications.
CombinatoRx has also agreed to deploy its proprietary combination high-throughput screening technology in a joint multi-year research initiative to identify novel drug combinations for multiple areas of strategic importance to Angiotech. Intellectual property from this research project will be jointly owned, and exclusively cross licensed to CombinatoRx for systemic therapies and therapies outside the Angiotech field.

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