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GEN News Highlights : Oct 12, 2011

Pfizer Negotiates Global Rights to GlycoMimetics’ Phase II Sickle Cell Crisis Drug

Deal valued at $340 million gives Pfizer rights to all potential applications of GMI-1070, a pan-selectin antagonist.

Pfizer negotiated exclusive worldwide rights to develop GlycoMimetics’ pan-selectin antagonist GMI-1070, in a deal which could be worth $340 million to GlycoMimetics in up-front and development, regulatory, and commercialization milestones, plus additional sale royalties. GMI-1070 is currently undergoing Phase II trials for the treatment of vaso-occulsive crisis associated with sickle cell disease.

Under terms of the deal Pfizer gets global rights to the drug for all potential indications, including sickle cell crisis. GlycoMimetic will complete the ongoing Phase II study, and then Pfizer will take over all further development and commercialization activities.

GlycoMimetics is developing a pipeline of carbohydrate mimic compounds for the treatment of a range of diseases. Lead candidate GMI-1070 is a synthetic glycomimetic that is designed to inhibit all three selectin types, E-selectin, L-selectin and P-selectin, which are implicated in inflammatory processes. In addition to its lead indication of sickle cell disease-associated vaso-occlusive crisis, the compound is separately in early clinical development for the potential treatment of blood cancers.

The firm’s preclinical portfolio is headed by another small molecular weight glycomimetic compound GMI-1051, which is in development for the treatment or prevention of Pseudomonas aeruginosa infections, probably in combination with antibiotic therapies. GlycoMimetics says in vitro studies suggest GMI-1051 strongly inhibits the functions of the bacterial virulence factor lectins, PA-IL and PA-IIL lectins.

Earlier preclinical-stage programs include compounds that target both E-selectin and CXCR4 for the potential treatment of blood cancers, and a family of high-affinity, small molecule E-selectin-specific anti-inflammatory drugs that are currently being optimized for oral availability.