OSI Pharmaceuticals and AVEO Pharmaceuticals entered into a cancer discovery and development agreement valued at over $15 million. The partnership is anchored around developing molecular therapies that target the underlying mechanisms of epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) in this disease.
OSI remarks that EMT is a process of emerging significance in tumor development and disease progression and the focal point of its research efforts. The companies will collaborate to develop target-driven tumor models for use in drug screening and biomarker validation. They intend to deploy these systems in support of OSI’s drug discovery and clinical programs.
AVEO will receive $10 million in cash and purchase equity valued at approximately $5 million upfront. OSI will also provide research funding, milestones, and royalties.
OSI will provide expertise in defining EMT in both AVEO models and in human tumor tissue. AVEO will provide access to its databases of tumor targets identified from its genetic screens, focusing on tumor maintenance genes that drive EMT. AVEO will further utilize its HRP™ platform to develop in vivo tumor models driven by the EMT target genes of interest.
OSI will conduct small molecule drug discovery programs on a defined number of EMT and tumor-maintenance targets validated by AVEO. The companies will partner on translational research programs concerning key OSI development programs. OSI will be responsible for the development and commercialization of all clinical candidates.
Rights to antibodies and antibody-related biologics against those targets are retained by AVEO.