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GEN News Highlights : Jan 9, 2007

Archemix and Pfizer Partner on Aptamer Therapeutics

Archemix will generate product candidates for three Pfizer targets.

Archemix signed an agreement with Pfizer focused on the discovery of first-in-class aptamers for the development and commercialization as therapeutics.

As part of the collaboration, Archemix will use its Selex technology to discover and generate product candidates to three disease-associated targets identified by Pfizer. Pfizer will be responsible for developing and commercializing the resulting product candidates.

Under the terms of the agreement, Archemix will receive an upfront cash payment as well as research funding and development milestones. The company is also entitled to receive a royalty on any marketed products developed under the collaboration.

Aptamers are single-stranded nucleic acids that form well-defined 3-D shapes, allowing them to bind target molecules in a manner that is conceptually similar to antibodies. Aptamers combine the optimal characteristics of small molecules and antibodies, including high specificity and affinity, chemical stability, low immunogenicity, and the ability to target protein-protein interactions. In contrast to Mabs, aptamers are chemically synthesized rather than biologically expressed and may offer a significant cost advantage.