Alkermes is paying its Cambridge, MA-based neighbor Acceleron Pharma $2 million up front and another $8 million for an equity stake in the company. Alkermes is licensing Acceleron's Medifusion technology, which boosts the circulating half-life of proteins and peptides. The first drug candidate being developed with this technology is ALKS 6931, a treatment for rheumatoid arthritis and related autoimmune diseases. Alkermes expects to file an IND for the drug in 2010.
In addition to the $2 million payment and equity investment, Acceleron is also eligible for development, regulatory and sales milestones and royalties on product sales. Additionally, Acceleron will develop up to two other drug compounds using its Medifusion technology through preclinical studies. Alkermes will step in to assume development and commercialization responsibilities for the two compounds once they reach the clinical stage.
"We are very pleased to have in-licensed this novel and broadly applicable technology from Acceleron and look forward to applying this new technology to develop a long-acting TNF candidate," commented Richard Pops, CEO of Alkermes. "In addition to this lead product candidate, we believe there are several other important protein therapeutics for which we can use the Medifusion platform to develop long-acting products that may offer valuable new treatment options for patients."
- take a look at Acceleron's release
- read the Boston Business Journal's coverage