Coley Pharmaceutical Group acquired the majority of 3M’s toll-like receptor (TLR) cancer programs in a deal potentially worth over $20 million. The transaction includes a pipeline of clinical and preclinical small molecule candidates targeting TLR7 and TLR8, an intellectual property estate of more than 200 issued and several hundred pending patents, and a library of approximately 10,000 small molecule compounds that stimulate TLR7 and TLR8.
The acquisition complements Coley's patent estate in TLR9-targeted drugs. "The acquisition of 3M's small molecule TLR program is consistent with Coley's business strategy to diversify our drug pipeline beyond TLR9-targeted compounds and to extend our leadership position in the development of next-generation TLR therapeutics for the potential treatment of cancers and other large unmet medical needs," remarks Robert L. Bratzler, Ph.D., president and CEO of Coley Pharmaceutical Group.
Coley anticipates initiating Phase I/II trials in a cancer indication in 2008 with one of the newly acquired TLR small molecules. The acquired pipeline also includes candidates for the treatment of asthma and allergic disorders, viral diseases, and certain dermatological diseases.
3M will receive an upfront $5-million payment, plus $15 million in cash over a three-year period. Additionally, 3M is entitled to milestones and royalties.