Flexion inks deals with four Big Pharmas

Massachusetts-based start-up Flexion Therapeutics has scored big, signing licensing agreements with major pharma players and securing financing from Pfizer, the company has announced.

Under the terms of the in-licensing deals with AstraZeneca, Merck Serono and an unnamed drugmaker, Flexion, which only has six employees, will acquire compounds that could be used to treat a range of inflammatory conditions, including the intra-articular treatment of osteoarthritis, and for tinnitus. In addition, Pfizer has agreed to pump in $9 million in venture financing, bringing the startup's total Series A financing to $42 million, Xconomy reports.

"To win the confidence of four major pharmaceutical companies and be able to partner on such high-quality assets is a real tribute to our team," Mike Clayman, Flexion's CEO says in a statement. "We were able to review over 100 compounds from numerous potential partners before selecting these high-value specialty programs, each of which has increased probability of success at both proof of concept and Phase III."

Financial terms were not disclosed but the agreements include milestone payments and royalties if the compounds are successful.

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