Danish biotech company Nuevolution has entered two research collaboration agreements with US listed pharmaceutical companies Merck & Co. and Lexicon Pharmaceuticals. Both agreements have been finalised in the last week, and upfront payments will give Nuevolution sufficient cash to operate its business to the end of 2009, writes financial daily newspaper Børsen.
Nuevolution has developed a drug screening technology, Chemetics, which is a patented method for effective identification of potential new drug molecules. The Danish company uses its technology in collaboration with pharmaceutical and biotech companies, and to build an internal pre-clinical portfolio to validate cancer and cardiovascular targets.
The agreement with Merck & Co., which was announced yesterday, involves Nuevolution applying Chemetics to identify novel small molecule leads against several drug targets of interest to Merck. Under the terms of the agreement, Merck will provide Nuevolution an upfront payment, research funding, and milestone payments. Nuevolution is also eligible to receive royalties on commercial sales of approved products.
CEO of Nuevolution Alex Gouliaev says in a press release: "We are delighted that a company of Merck's stature has chosen to enter into collaboration with Nuevolution to access our fragment-based Chemetics platform, which we believe has the potential to transform small molecule lead discovery."
The agreement with Lexicon Pharmaceuticals is aimed at the discovery of small molecule lead compounds against a range of drug targets proposed by Lexicon. Nuevolution will receive an upfront payment and will be eligible for milestone payments and royalties on compounds identified using its technology, as candidate molecules progress through development phases.
Brian Zambrowicz, executive vice president of Lexicon says in a press release: "This important alliance is designed to accelerate Lexicon's ability to move from novel knockout validated targets to drug candidates as we continue to build our pipeline of innovative products."