As elesclomol progresses through the Phase III trial in melanoma, Synta could earn another $50 million.

Synta Pharmaceuticals received $25 million from GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) under its agreement for the development and commercialization of elesclomol. This oxidative stress inducing small molecule is in a Phase III trial for metastatic melanoma, called SYMMETRY.

While exactly what triggered this fee is not being divulged, Rob Kloppenburg, vp, investor relations, explains that it is an operational-related payment; i.e., one not related to clinical results.

Synta is eligible to earn a further $25 million in operational milestone fees prior to completion of patient enrollment in SYMMETRY. This is expected either this year or in the first quarter of next year, says Kloppenburg. The company could earn another $25 million if the study meets the primary endpoint or if Synta and GSK agree to file for regulatory approval. Results from the trial is anticipated early next year.

The collaboration, inked in October 2007, was valued at over $965 million consisting of $80 million upfront. The overall milestone fees remain the same as what was set in the original agreement, though the melanoma program will receive $10 million more and development in other indications will get $10 million less.

The revised terms calls for $145 million in milestone payments related to melanoma development and $440 million in fees linked to the other indications. Additionally, Synta could earn $300 million in commercialization success-based fees.

The companies are jointly developing and will jointly commercialize elesclomol in the U.S. GSK has the responsibility for development and commercialization outside the U.S.

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