Epix Pharmaceuticals and Cystic Fibrosis Foundation Therapeutics (CFFT), a nonprofit affiliate of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, expanded their collaboration. The revised agreement increases payments from CFFT by up to $37.7 million. As a result, the total potential value of the collaboration has increased to more than $50 million.
The expanded agreement follows on the heels of Epix’ development of a validated, virtual 3-D molecule of the full-length Cystic Fibrosis Transmembrane conductance Regulator (CFTR) in January. CFTR is believed to be the key protein associated with cystic fibrosis.
Epix scientists are now using the CFTR model to identify sites within the Delta F508 mutation of CFTR, the most common mutation in CF patients, which may be good targets for treatment. CFFT is working with Epix to discover drug candidates that may work on those sites and possibly restore function to the mutated CFTR protein.