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Almac Discovery Announce Ubiquitin Specific Protease Collaboration with Genetech

Published 28 September 2015 | By Almac

Almac Discovery, a biopharmaceutical company focused on identifying and developing innovative therapeutics for the treatment of cancer, today announced a Research and Licensing agreement with Genentech, a member of the Roche Group (SIX:RO, ROG; OTCQX: RHHBY) to discover and develop small molecule inhibitors of a ubiquitin specific protease (USP) target.


Under the terms of the agreement, Almac Discovery will receive an upfront payment of $14.5 million. Almac Discovery will be eligible to receive up to $349 million in payments based on achievement of certain predetermined milestones as well as escalating tiered royalties on potential commercial sales of multiple products to the target by Genentech.

Almac Discovery's novel, potent and selective small molecule inhibitors will be the starting point for a two-year joint research programme funded by Genentech. Genentech will be responsible for all pre-clinical and clinical development and commercialisation of products arising from the collaboration.

Tim Harrison, Vice President Drug Discovery, Almac Discovery commented "Inhibitors of ubiquitin specific proteases have been a highly sought after, yet elusive drug class, proving difficult to identify despite significant efforts from both pharmaceutical and biotech companies. Ubiquitin specific proteases have been shown to play an important role in a number of key oncogenic pathways, and the identification of potent, selective inhibitors provides an exciting opportunity to fully exploit this novel biology, as well as further demonstrating the chemical tractability of this important target class."

Stephen Barr, President Almac Discovery, added "We're delighted to enter into this partnership with Genentech, a like-minded research driven organisation. Genentech is an undoubted leader in oncology development and this, coupled with their in depth knowledge in the USP area, is the perfect complement for us. We feel confident that Genentech is the best partner to expedite the translation of our medicinal chemistry and biology efforts into the clinic."

"We're pleased to initiate this collaboration with Almac Discovery where we hope to discover and develop therapies targeting an important USP that can potentially advance the standard of care patients with cancer" said James Sabry, Senior Vice President and Global Head of Genentech Partnering.