PharmAria and Celgene announce strategic partnership

Collaboration to focus on small-molecule therapies for cancer and fibrotic diseases

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SAN DIEGO—PharmAria LLC announced Oct. 15 that it had entered into an agreement with CelgeneCorp. focused on advancing the discovery of new small-moleculetherapeutics  targeting cancer andfibrotic diseases—a deal that might lead to an M&A deal down the line.
Under the agreement, Celgene willprovide seed-stage funding for PharmAria, and will work with PharmAria tosecure additional series A venture funding, a process in which Celgene will participate in addition to any other funders.
Following what is hoped to be a successful series A financing, Celgene will receive anequity position in PharmAria, along with the option to license certain researchand development programs. Moreover, Celgene also gains in this deal the option to acquirePharmAria at some point in the future. 

No specifics were offered in the news release about the deal in terms of financial investments or percentages.
PharmAria reports that the seed funding provided by Celgene will go toward building the initial scientific team, initiating operations and starting toidentify clinical candidates against selected targets.
"The goal of PharmAria is to bring togetherexcellent people, world class science, and a sense of urgency to efficientlydiscover and develop new medicines to improve the lives of patients with lifethreatening diseases," said
Jilly Evans, PharmAria's chief scientific officer. "As our discussions with Celgene developed it becameapparent that Celgene would be an ideal business and scientific partner to helpPharmAria achieve our goals."

"The PharmAriateam has a great track record of prior success," added Dr. Thomas Daniel, Celgene's president of global research andearly development. "We are committed to new business models with innovators capable ofdelivering important therapies on aggressive time lines."
John Hutchinson, PharmAria's president, noted that the "unique deal structure with Celgene" will provide PharmAria with theability to create significant value for investors, while at the same time giving Celgene access to "additional world-class research and novelclinical candidates for its pipeline," adding that he thinks the business model "will serve as a mutuallybeneficial model for biopharmaceutical companies to collaborate goingforward."

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