ChemBridge Research Laboratories LLC and Eisai Co. Ltd. entered a two-year collaboration to discover and develop drug candidates targeting G protein-coupled receptors.
ChemBridge, of San Diego, will provide discovery chemistry support for an undisclosed number of Eisai targets for undisclosed indications, said Sven Wagner, associate director of business development for CRL.
“[The agreement includes] quite a potential to extend into other areas,” Wagner said.
CRL will receive a technology access fee and success-based preclinical and clinical milestone payments. Other financial terms were not disclosed.
“We cannot disclose the nature of the milestones, but there are significant milestones in preclinical and clinical,” Wagner said.
Wagner also said the targets “allow a very broad scope of indications,” and in announcing the collaboration CRL pointed out that GPCRs have proved to be excellent drug targets and identified ligands for orphan receptors have shown potential in treating inflammation, asthma, cancer and neurological, cardiovascular and other diseases.
He said Eisai, of Tokyo, chose CRL because the company offers “a distinguished approach to ligands” against a major number of GPCR targets.
“There’s a bottleneck at this moment in the pharmaceutical industry to have enough synthetic chemistry resources available,” Wager said, explaining that CRL prepared a long time ago for this moment and its results are now being applied and “highly recognized.”
Wagner said there would be more announcements of deals featuring CRL’s services in the next weeks and months.
In early December, CRL entered a two-year agreement with Tularik Inc., of South San Francisco, for undisclosed therapeutics.
In January, ChemBridge entered a discovery chemistry collaboration with Pfizer Inc., of New York, that will continue for four and a half years. More than 100 CRL chemists will work with a team of Pfizer scientists to design, develop and produce combinatorial compound libraries for Pfizer’s compound file. Pfizer was to make an equity investment in CRL and make annual research and development payments.