Genetics-focused Xenon forges $646M pain pact with Genentech

Canada's Xenon has added another premier industry collaboration to its roster of pacts aimed at discovering genetically-targeted treatments. In this new deal, Xenon will work with Roche's Genentech on new pain meds and the diagnostic tests needed to identify specific patient populations.

There's no word from Xenon on just how big an upfront Genentech is paying, but if you add up all the cash on the table the deal is worth up to $646 million for multiple programs.

"This new alliance, which represents our sixth partnership with a major pharmaceutical company to date, once again highlights the keen interest in Xenon's unique genetics approach and in our translational R&D capabilities," says Xenon CSO Michael Hayden.

Indeed, Vancouver-based Xenon's partners make up a who's who in the Big Pharma world. Its list of collaborators include Novartis ($NVS), Merck ($MRK), Takeda Pharmaceutical, Roche and Isis Pharmaceuticals ($ISIS).

- here's the Xenon release