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Nov 29, 2007

Exelixis Lands $5M Milestone from Bristol-Myers Squibb for Progress in Liver X Receptor Collaboration

  • Exelixis received a $5 million from Bristol-Myers Squibb as a result of the acceptance of an IND application, or foreign equivalent. The compound was discovered and developed under the companies' Liver X Receptor (LXR) collaboration.

    “Our combined preclinical studies suggest that LXR agonists may have significant potential in treating a number of cardiovascular and metabolic disorders including atherosclerosis,” says Michael Morrissey, Ph.D., Exelixis' president of R&D.

    Exelixis and Bristol-Myers Squibb announced the alliance in December 2005 for an initial period of two years. In September, the deal was extended through January 12, 2009. Bristol-Myers Squibb retains the option to further extend the partnership by a year.

    The firms agreed to jointly identify drug candidates for IND-enabling studies. Bristol-Myers Squibb would then undertake further development, regulatory, manufacturing, and sales/marketing activities for such compounds.

    At time of signing, Exelixis received a $17.5 million upfront payment and a $10 million per year R&D funding commitment. Under the extension, Bristol-Myers Squibb will put forth another $7.5 million.

    Exelixis may also receive prespecified development and regulatory milestones totaling approximately $140 million per product for up to two products. Additionally, the company is eligible to sales milestones and royalties.

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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.

Do you agree that ecstasy should be studied for its potential therapeutic benefits?

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