Horizon Discovery Group will join Redx Pharma in advancing the latter’s pan-rapidly accelerated fibrosarcoma (pan-RAF) inhibitor program, with future licensing for colorectal cancer and other oncology indications to a big pharma in mind, the companies said today.

The value of the collaboration was not disclosed.

Redx’ pan-RAF inhibitor program has identified next-generation novel small molecule inhibitors of RAF kinases as potential treatments for colorectal and other potential cancers, the companies said. The inhibitors have been designed to overcome resistance mechanisms that hindered development of first-generation RAF inhibitors in colorectal cancer.

“Our partnership with Horizon will enable us to detail at molecular level the effects of our pan-RAF inhibitors and help to progress this very promising program as we seek to secure a license partner for this asset,” Redx CEO Neil Murray, Ph.D., said in a statement.

Horizon agreed to deploy its gene editing, cell line and drug discovery technology platforms and knowledge to help explore the mode of action of Redx’ pan-RAF inhibitors.

Horizon also agreed to support Redx in rapidly advancing the compounds toward out-licensing deals. Those deals, Horizon said, are expected to deliver a “material” return on Horizon’s investment from upfront payments, and a share of milestone payments and royalties.

“We are delighted to be able to support Redx as it moves towards securing partnerships for these novel assets and look forward to similar collaborations with other innovative drug development companies,” added Horizon CEO Darrin M. Disley, Ph.D.

Horizon and Redx said they will bear costs proportionate to their respective research activities.

The brokerage N+1 Singer restated its “buy” recommendation for shares of publicly-traded Horizon, which supplies products, services, and research programs to more than 1,000 customers in 50 countries.

“Although still at a preclinical stage of development, we believe that Redx Pharma’s novel pan-RAF program has the potential of generating significant longer-term returns on Horizon’s investment through a partnering deal,” N+1 Singer stated in a note to investors, according to the financial news outlet Proactive Investors.

Formed in 2010, privately held Redx focuses on developing small molecule drugs for cancer and infectious disease indications.

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