Sugen Inc. announced Monday that it has signed an exclusivethree-year collaborative agreement with Selectide Corp. todevelop novel, small-peptide therapeutics targeting two classesof cell receptors.
The deal entails a stock swap of roughly 10 percent of the twoprivately held companiesL respective capitalizations.
Under the terms of the agreement, each company may createits own scientific team within its collaboratorLs laboratoryfacilities to pursue specific research projects. The two classes ofcell receptors covered by the agreement are receptor tyrosinekinases (RTKs) and tyrosine phosphatases (RTPs), both of whichare involved in a number of diseases and disorders, includingcancer, diabetes and blood cell disorders.
IWe view SelectideLs technology as an awesomely powerfuldrug discovery technology,J said Arthur G. Altschul, director ofplanning and investor relations for Sugen of Redwood City,Calif. IThis collaboration will enable us to rapidly discoverpeptides and quasi-peptidic lead compounds against ourreceptor targets.J
Selectide of Tucson, Ariz., has developed a unique solid-phasechemistry system for rapidly compiling massive libraries ofsmall-molecule compounds and then screening them forbinding and biological activity. The company recently signed anexclusive agreement with Synergen Inc. of Boulder, Colo., todevelop small molecule TNF and IL-1 inhibitors.
IThe Synergen deal was a very important endorsement ofSelectide technology,J said Altschul. IAnd weLre very pleasedthat weLll be able to work with them exclusively on theseprojects; the exclusivity adds power and value to thecollaboration.J
Altschul said that SelectideLs ability to generate Itens ofmillionsJ of different molecules, including pre-rigidizedpeptides, cyclic peptides, peptides containing non-naturalamino acids and complex non-peptidic bonds, will enable thecollaboration to produce Ivast molecular diversityJ in a shorttime.
Lead compounds that result from the collaboration will bescreened against SugenLs receptor targets.
To date the companies have begun work on two initialreceptors, the epidermal growth factor (EGF) receptor that isseen in squamous cancers and the HER2 receptor observed inbreast and ovarian cancers. Altschul said Sugen is extremelyencouraged with the results on those two receptors so far.
-- Lisa Piercey Business Editor
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