FORMA forms new oncology collaborations
by Kelsey Kaustinen  |  Email the author


BOSTON—FORMA Therapeutics, a Watertown, Mass.-based company targeting cancer pathways to develop small molecule cancer therapies, has announced an exclusive alliance with Janssen Biotech, Inc., one of the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies. Under the alliance, the two companies will collaborate to discover, develop and commercialize novel small molecule drug candidates that will target tumor metabolism mechanisms.  
"This collaboration with Janssen Biotech further strengthens our drug discovery capabilities and also allows us to look to the future with an opportunity to maintain North American rights, which is a key element of our strategy to create long-term shareholder value within FORMA," Steven Tregay, Chief Executive Officer of FORMA, said in a press release regarding the deal.
Per the terms of the research collaboration and license option agreement, FORMA will discover and develop drugs against a panel of tumor metabolism targets, with the potential to receive project and milestone funding over several years. If all development, regulatory and commercialization milestones are met for drug candidates launched as a result of the collaboration, FORMA could receive up to $700 million in funding. The company may also be eligible for royalties on revenues from products commercialized through the collaboration, and if certain milestones are met during the initial phase, FORMA will have the option to co-develop and maintain North American commercial rights to one program of Janssen's selection. Janssen and FORMA will have the option to expand the partnership to include additional targets, as well as in areas beyond tumor metabolism.  
"This collaboration will enable a broad chemical biology approach to understanding the unique biology underlying cancer metabolism," Kenneth Bair, Head of R&D for FORMA, said in a press release.  
The collaboration follows another recent deal by FORMA, one with a similar price tag. On Jan. 5, FORMA announced the beginning of a research and development collaboration with pharmaceutical giant Boehringer Ingelheim for the discovery and development of novel drug candidates as potential cancer treatments. The companies will be searching for small molecule drugs that are effective against oncology relevant protein-protein interactions. Per the terms of the agreement, Boehringer Ingelheim will pay FORMA $65 million in upfront payments and research funding to screen for as well as optimize compounds against several oncology targets over the next four years. If all pre-commercial milestones for programs resulting from the collaboration are achieved, FORMA could be eligible for up to $750 million.  
FORMA's approach to discovering and developing cancer therapeutics includes a variety of collaborations and agreements, with additional partners such as Eisai, Cubist, Novartis and Genentech. The company's focal points within the field of oncology include tumor metabolism, protein-protein interactions, epigenetics and selected aspects of stem cell biology.  

SOURCE: FORMA press release
Code: E01111200

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