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Nov 12, 2009

GSK Signs On Astex in Broad Partnership for About $33M Up Front

  • GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) has inked a deal with Astex Therapeutics to discover, develop, and commercialize compounds directed against multiple targets for £20 million (about $33 million) up front. Astex is eligible to development and regulatory milestones of over £300 million (roughly $496.47 million) if all programs are successfully developed and commercialized.

    The up-front payment comprises £12.5 million (approximately $20.68 million) in cash and £7.5 million (about $12.41 million) in equity. Milestones include fees related to nonclinical success totaling more than £37 million (roughly $61.23 million). Additionally, Astex is entitled to tiered royalties on each program.

    Astex will apply its fragment chemistry platform, Pyramid™, to various targets of interest to GSK. The firms will form joint program teams to identify candidate compounds. Astex will be primarily responsible for initial fragment screening and lead discovery. GSK will primarily be responsible for optimization of the identified lead compounds. Additionally, GSK will be solely responsible for completing preclinical and clinical development of all products arising from the collaboration and for their commercialization globally.

     



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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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