Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Genentech Invests in Inotek's Inhibitors

Genentech Invests in Inotek's Inhibitors
By Reporter Staff

Biotech leader Genentech has entered into an exclusive global collaboration to develop new cancer treatments with Inotek Pharmaceuticals Corp. The deal, announced Tuesday, could be worth as much as $625 million to Inotek.

South San Francisco-based Genentech - which has a manufacturing facility in Vacaville - will pay the Beverly, Mass.-based firm $20 million upfront, and up to an additional $405 million in milestone payments based upon successful completion of various clinical development and regulatory events.

The two companies will work together to discover, develop, manufacture and commercialize inhibitors of a nuclear enzyme, poly polymerase (PARP), that repairs damaged DNA, which is Inotek's lead program.

"We are thrilled that Genentech has taken such a significant interest in our company and our PARP Inhibitor Program," Andrew Salzman, Inotek's president and chief executive officer, said in a written statement.

"We have built a strong expertise and reputation in small molecule drug discovery, as well as a deep pipeline of novel PARP inhibitors.

"We believe that these capabilities and assets combined with Genentech's proven experience and success in oncology drug development and commercialization will create a powerful collaboration for years to come," Salzman continued.

As part of the deal, Genentech will pay royalties based upon sales of Inotek's lead PARP inhibitor. Genentech will also provide funding to utilize Inotek's small molecule chemistry expertise as part of a multi-year collaborative research program, and will pay for all future clinical development costs of PARP inhibitors in cancer.

Additionally, Genentech retained an option worth as much as $200 million in additional payments to Inotek, allowing it to develop and commercialize Inotek's PARP inhibitors to prevent cell death and complications associated with various acute cardiovascular conditions .

In a written statement, Hal Barron, Genentech's chief medical officer and senior vice president of development, said PARP inhibition represents an exciting field of biology.

"We are intrigued by the potential of this novel mechanism to address unmet medical needs in oncology and acute cardiovascular conditions," he said.

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