Forma Therapeutics Holdings and Celgene are collaborating in an effort to discover, develop, and commercialize protein homeostasis target-regulating drug candidates. Up-front financial details of the agreement were not disclosed.

Under the agreement terms, Forma is incentivized to advance the full complement of drug candidates through Phase I, while Celgene will be responsible for all further global clinical development for each licensed candidate, the companies said.

More specifically, Celgene will evaluate selected targets and lead assets in protein homeostasis pathways during the preclinical phase, after which it will have the right to obtain exclusive licenses with respect to the development and commercialization of multiple drug candidates outside of the U.S. in exchange for research and early development payments of up to $200 million to Forma.

The firms added that, through this collaboration, Forma could receive $315 million in potential payments based upon development, regulatory, and sales objectives for the first ex-U.S. license, and is eligible to receive potential payments for successive licenses, which escalate for productivity to a maximum of $430 million per program. Further, Forma will receive royalties on ex-U.S. sales and additional payments if multiple drug candidates reach defined cumulative sales objectives.

“Forma’s unique drug discovery platform and disruptive approach to discovery of high impact therapies offers a valuable complement to our overall strategy,” Celgene’s Thomas Daniel, M.D., global research and early development president, said in a statement.

Added Forma CSO, R&D head Kenneth Bair, Ph.D.: “Protein homeostasis represents a new area of promising drug development after years of targeting kinase family proteins. This significant drug development collaboration has the potential to bring new drugs against novel targets and address unmet medical needs in the treatment of many cancers.”

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