GPC Biotech AG opened up a new line of business with its first deal to conduct mode-of-action studies on a third-party compound. The company will use its reverse genomics platform to examine the mechanism of a novel apoptosis-inducing molecule that Cytovia Inc. identified via cell screening.
"It's really a way of finding out what exactly the molecular targets are," Petra Bassen, head of investor relations and corporate communications at Munich, Germany-based GPC Biotech, told BioWorld International. Terms were not disclosed, but GPC will receive payments for its services as well as royalties on any drugs based on targets it discovers.
"It's more from a strategic perspective that this is important," Bassen said. "We really believe this is an area that has considerable potential."
Cytovia, of San Diego, which last month became a wholly owned subsidiary of Maxim Pharmaceuticals Inc., of San Diego, also has licensed mammalian-cell-based assay technologies to GPC, which GPC will incorporate into its target discovery, validation and mode-of-action screening platforms. This part of the agreement, which covers GPC's internal drug discovery programs and its pharmaceutical partnerships, entitles Cytovia to receive royalties on eventual product sales. - Cormac Sheridan