Array adds $713M cancer drug pact with Genentech to deal roster

Array BioPharma ($ARRY) has added another high-profile pact to its roster of big-name collaborations. Genentech has stepped in with an upfront payment of $28 million and a promise of up to $685 million in milestones so it can snag the rights to develop ARRY-575, a preclinical ChK-1 program that will be combined with a similar program of Genentech's and pushed into Phase I.

Genentech plans to match ARRY-575 with another Phase I compound, RG7602 or GDC-0475. Genentech will be responsible for the development costs and is also committed to a double-digit royalty stream on the early-stage program. However, the companies also noted that not all the financial details are being disclosed. Genentech's clinical goal is to show that a pair of ChK-1 inhibitors will strip the body's natural defenses against DNA damage, allowing chemotherapy drugs to do their intended work without interference from the protein kinase.

"Combining both companies' programs will maximize our chances for success in developing and commercializing this novel cancer therapy," says Array CEO Robert Conway. "We believe ChK-1 inhibition is a key strategy for enhancing the efficacy of chemotherapeutic and other agents in cancer patients."

Boulder, CO-based Array has had considerable success attracting some of the biggest names in the industry to partner on programs. Its drugs are allied with Novartis, Amgen, Eli Lilly and AstraZeneca, to name a few. Its lead drugs are ARRY-162, a mid-stage cancer treatment partnered with Novartis, and its solely-owned ARRY-520 for multiple myeloma. Array and Genentech have been partnered for the last 7 years and one of their drugs, GDC-0068, is in Phase Ib.

- see the Array release
- check out the Reuters story