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Sep 6, 2011

GSK Pays $5M Up Front to Expand R&D Agreement with Anacor

  • GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) is paying $5 million up front for the option to extend its rights around the bacterial enzyme target leucyl-tRNA synthetase (LeuRS) as well as to add new programs for tuberculosis (TB) and malaria using Anacor’s boron chemistry platform. The agreement could earn Anacor up to $11.3 million in milestones and research funding by the end of 2012.

    The original partnership was entered into in October 2007 for the discovery, development, and worldwide commercialization of boron-based systemic anti-infectives against four discovery targets including LeuRS. As part of the current amendment, all rights to the other three original targets will revert to Anacor.

    “We have had a productive relationship with GSK over the last four years and are pleased to expand our research efforts with them to include tuberculosis and malaria,” says David Perry, CEO of Anacor Pharmaceuticals. “This amendment allows us to continue our work in neglected diseases and provides additional financial resources for our lead clinical programs.”

    As per terms of the new deal, GSK may opt to expand its rights around LeuRS in return for a milestone payment ranging from $5.5 million to $6.5 million, depending upon the timing of such payment. Any future work under the collaboration directed toward LeuRS will be funded by GSK through a collaborative research program.

    Anacor and GSK would pursue additional drug candidates up to candidate selection. After that GSK would have the right to undertake development and commercialization. Anacor would be eligible for additional milestones and royalties on sales of resulting products.

    In addition, the amendment to the collaboration adds a new program for TB. GSK will fund Anacor’s TB research activities through to candidate selection. Upon meeting candidate selection criteria, GSK will have the option to license TB compounds and would be responsible for all further development and commercialization. Anacor would be eligible for additional milestones and royalties on sales of resulting products.

    The agreement also includes the option for GSK to acquire rights to Anacor’s malaria program, focused on development of the lead compound, AN3661, currently being developed through a collaboration with Medicines for Malaria Venture (MMV). Anacor and MMV will continue to conduct preclinical, Phase I, and Phase II studies, and GSK will then have the option to license the program on an exclusive, worldwide basis. 

    Upon exercise of this option, Anacor would receive $5 million, less $1.7 million which will be paid to MMV as reimbursement for previously received funding and which will reportedly be reinvested in future antimalarial research. Anacor would also be eligible for additional milestones and royalties on sales of resulting products.

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