In an initiative to discover and develop new drugs in inflammation and immunology, Abide Therapeutics has entered into a strategic collaboration with Celgene.

As part of the agreement, Celgene paid Abide an undisclosed upfront payment. In addition, Celgene will take a small equity stake in Abide and will retain an exclusive option to acquire the company. Abide can earn additional payments if Celgene exercises its option to license the rest of the world rights on the first two products that reach the clinic. Abide may receive additional milestone payments upon successful development of those programs. Cardinal Partners, Abide’s existing venture investor, also participated in the equity financing.

During the collaboration, Abide will apply its technology platform, which it says can selectively and near-universally target the more than 200 members of the serine hydrolase ‘superfamily,’ to discover new therapeutic targets and drug candidates for the treatment of inflammation and immunological disorders. Included in the collaboration is Abide’s most advanced compound, AB101131, which the company estimates will enter clinical trials next year. Abide expects to generate another three to four developmental candidates during the collaboration.

“This collaboration with Abide illustrates our ongoing commitment to enable potentially disruptive technologies in the hands of talented drug hunters, here deployed in unique and powerful approach to target a validated but largely underexplored class of serine hydrolases,” said Thomas Daniel, M.D., executive vice president and president, global research and early development at Celgene.

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