Companies believe that LXR agonists have significant potential in treating cardiovascular and metabolic diseases.

Exelixis received a $5 million from Bristol-Myers Squibb as a result of the acceptance of an IND application, or foreign equivalent. The compound was discovered and developed under the companies’ Liver X Receptor (LXR) collaboration.

“Our combined preclinical studies suggest that LXR agonists may have significant potential in treating a number of cardiovascular and metabolic disorders including atherosclerosis,” says Michael Morrissey, Ph.D., Exelixis’ president of R&D.

Exelixis and Bristol-Myers Squibb announced the alliance in December 2005 for an initial period of two years. In September, the deal was extended through January 12, 2009. Bristol-Myers Squibb retains the option to further extend the partnership by a year.

The firms agreed to jointly identify drug candidates for IND-enabling studies. Bristol-Myers Squibb would then undertake further development, regulatory, manufacturing, and sales/marketing activities for such compounds.

At time of signing, Exelixis received a $17.5 million upfront payment and a $10 million per year R&D funding commitment. Under the extension, Bristol-Myers Squibb will put forth another $7.5 million.

Exelixis may also receive prespecified development and regulatory milestones totaling approximately $140 million per product for up to two products. Additionally, the company is eligible to sales milestones and royalties.

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