Amgen has agreed to develop and commercialize novel oncology and neuroscience therapies discovered through Nuevolution’s Chemetics® drug discovery platform, through a collaboration that could generate up to $410 million per target identified.

The companies did not say how many targets they planned to identify but referred in a statement to their collaboration as “multiple target.”

The companies’ agreement gives Amgen an exclusive option to obtain all rights to successfully developed programs. Amgen agreed in return to pay Nuevolution a license fee payment upon option exercise, as well as up to $410 million per target in payments tied to achieving research, development, and commercial milestones. Nuevolution would also be entitled to receive royalties on future sales.

Nuevolution agreed to oversee the collaboration’s early research phase, with Amgen agreeing to work with Nuevolution during late-stage research. Amgen will be fully responsible for preclinical development, clinical development, and commercialization worldwide, the companies said.

“Amgen is pleased to enter this agreement with Nuevolution to leverage their platform to identify small-molecule compounds for targets that are difficult to drug using conventional methods,” Alexander Kamb, Ph.D., Amgen’s svp of discovery research, said in a statement.

Founded in 2001, Nuevolution is focused on developing small-molecule drugs for inflammation, oncology, and immuno-oncology. The lead pipeline candidate is a retinoic acid receptor-related orphan receptor gamma t (RORγt) inhibitor that the company says has shown promising results in several animal inflammatory disease models, including models of rheumatoid arthritis and psoriasis.

“Nuevolution plans to conduct IND enabling (final regulatory preclinical safety studies) at end of 2016–early 2017, and subject to successfully completion of IND enabling studies, the objective is to commence Phase I studies in 2017,” the company states on its website.

Amgen is the latest biopharma giant to team up with Nuevolution, which has partnered over the years with companies that include Boehringer Ingelheim, GlaxoSmithKline, Johnson & Johnson, Merck & Co., and Novartis.

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