Glaxo ropes in Chroma tech with $1B deal

GlaxoSmithKline has hammered out a new collaboration that will use technology from the UK's Chroma Therapeutics to identify four new drug programs for inflammatory disease. Glaxo is contributing to Chroma's $25 million Series D--also announced this morning--and will pay up to $1 billion in fees, milestones and options. But the press release on the deal lacks any of the details on exactly how that package is arranged.

Using Chroma's drug development technology, researchers will add amino acid esters to compounds that can target specific cells that play a role in inflammatory ailments, such as rheumatoid arthritis. Chroma will be responsible for R&D through proof-of-concept trials for the four programs with Glaxo holding on to an option on worldwide rights. If they pull the rights triggers, Glaxo will be responsible for further clinical development.

In a separate announcement, Chroma said it had raised $25 million in its fourth round, with Glaxo making a "significant investment" alongside Abingworth Management, Essex Woodlands Healthcare Ventures, Gilde Healthcare, Nomura Phase4 Ventures and the Wellcome Trust. That money will be used to advance Chroma's CHR-2797 into a late-stage cancer study and to push CHR-2845 toward clinical proof-of-concept.

- here's the release on the technology deal
- read the release on the Series D

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