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Jun 5, 2008

EPIX Earns $5.5M Milestone from GSK

  • EPIX Pharmaceuticals achieved a key milestone related to the third of three discovery programs under its collaboration with GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), triggering a $5.5 million payment.

    Using its integrated computational-medicinal chemistry approach to drug discovery, EPIX has identified three lead candidates to move forward into lead optimization in its GPCR discovery research.

    EPIX is now entitled to receive a milestone payment of $3 million and an additional $2.5 million for its overall progress in the discovery partnership with GSK. EPIX previously received two milestone payments totaling $6 million for the other two discovery programs.

    “Our in silico approach to drug discovery continues to deliver results and has allowed us to rapidly progress lead candidates into lead-optimization programs,” notes Sheila DeWitt, Ph.D., vp of discovery at EPIX.

    In December 2006, EPIX and GSK announced a worldwide, multitarget strategic collaboration to discover, develop, and market novel medicines targeting four GPCRs for the treatment of a variety of diseases. EPIX received total initial payments of $35 million, including $17.5 million through the purchase of its common stock.

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Scientifically Studying Ecstasy

MDMA (commonly known as the empathogen “ecstasy”) is classified as a Schedule 1 drug, which is reserved for compounds with no accepted medical use and a high abuse potential. Two researchers from Stanford, however, call for a rigorous scientific exploration of MDMA's effects to identify precisely how the drug works, the data from which could be used to develop therapeutic compounds.

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