Forma scores another Big Pharma deal in $700M J&J cancer pact

Just days after inking an $815 million cancer drug discovery pact with Boehringer Ingelheim, Forma Therapeutics agreed to put its fast-growing small molecule ops to work for J&J's Janssen in a $700 million deal. This new pact, which focuses on tumor metabolism, also allows Forma to hang on to the North American commercial rights on one of the programs it develops--adding some long-term upside for the biotech. The announcement did not reveal how much Janssen is paying upfront.

"This collaboration will enable a broad chemical biology approach to understanding the unique biology underlying cancer metabolism," Kenneth Bair, Ph.D., senior vice president and head of research and development at Forma.

The partnership also marks another big step for Forma, a 2011 Fierce 15 company which has been rapidly building up a broad range of deals with biopharma companies as it hones its skills on protein-protein interactions, tumor metabolism and epigenetics. With new facilities in the Boston area and a relatively big discovery outfit in a staff of about 100, Forma CEO Steve Tregay has been laying a foundation for a biotech company which can rely on a steady stream of partnership dollars to pay the bills while offering some early returns to its investors.

"This collaboration with Janssen Biotech further strengthens our drug discovery capabilities and also allows us to look to the future with an opportunity to maintain North American rights, which is a key element of our strategy to create long-term shareholder value within Forma," said Tregay in today's release.  

You can expect more deals from Forma and Tregay, who specialized in pacts for Novartis ($NVS).

- here's the press release

Special Report: Forma Therapeutics - 2011 Fierce 15