Avalon Pharmaceuticals initiated the primary screening phase under its drug discovery collaboration with Novartis. The collaboration aims to discover small molecule therapeutic compounds targeted against a pathway selected by Novartis. The terms of the collaboration provide for upfront, research-support, and milestone payments.
Avalon is using its AvalonRx® drug discovery platform to screen, identify, and characterize compounds from the Novartis proprietary compound library. Following Avalon's successful identification of a screen signature by monitoring large-scale gene expression changes resulting from disrupting the selected pathway, the parties have agreed to initiate the primary screen against a large subset of Novartis' compound library. Under the terms of the agreement, the initiation of the screening phase triggers a $500,000 payment to Avalon for research support.