FivePrime Therapeutics has struck a deal to collaborate with Centocor Research and Development (a Johnson & Johnson company) on the development of new therapies for osteoarthritis and pulmonary fibrosis. Under the collaboration, FivePrime will screen its protein library against cell-based assays directed to osteoarthritis and fibrosis and Centocor will have exclusive rights to the proteins and targets identified in these screens. FivePrime will receive an upfront payment of $15 million in cash, an equity investment by J&J Development Corporation and two years research funding from Centocor. Centocor will have exclusive worldwide rights to develop and commercialize products and targets discovered during the research term in exchange for future milestones and royalties. Further details of the agreement weren't disclosed.
"With Centocor as a partner in these disease areas, we should be able to move the products of our discovery platform into clinical trials faster and more effectively," commented Lewis T. "Rusty" Williams, FivePrime's founder and executive chairman. FivePrime was a 2004 Fierce 15 company.
- check out the release on the deal