Firm will get rights to up to four targets and expanded access to AVEO’s technologies.

OSI Pharmaceuticals will pay AVEO Pharmaceuticals $20 million to expand their agreement to include additional targets and broader access to Aveo technology. The original deal was inked in October 2007 to develop molecular therapies that target epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) in cancer. Additionally the companies agreed to develop datasets of associated patient-selection biomarkers to support OSI’s targeted medicine pipeline.

Under the amended drug discovery and translational research agreement, OSI will pay AVEO $5 million in cash up front and purchase $15 million of equity. OSI will also provide research funding over the next two years. AVEO has the potential to receive additional royalties and milestones.

In return, OSI will immediately receive rights to up to four antibody targets. The firm will also be able to use AVEO technology like tumor models, archives, and biomarkers. Additionally, OSI is acquiring nonexclusive rights to AVEO’s bioinformatics platform.

The expanded arrangement gives OSI the option to internalize key elements of AVEO’s technology platform including the Human Response Platform (HRP™) for the identification of novel EMT agents and patient-selection biomarkers in support of OSI’s clinical development programs.

HRP is based on AVEO’s genetically defined mouse models of human cancer, in which each model is engineered to contain signature genetic mutations that are present in human disease. Beyond these cancer-initiating engineered mutations, the resultant tumors acquire common and distinct spontaneous mutations during tumor progression, the company explains. These mutations reportedly provide additional natural genetic variation more akin to the range of genetic heterogeneity encountered across different primary human tumors.

“Our initial collaboration with AVEO has convinced us that these platforms represent a valuable and integral component in our ongoing efforts to maintain our leadership position in exploiting the biology of EMT,” states Colin Goddard, Ph.D., CEO of OSI.

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