Plexxikon pockets $46M up front in Roche pact

Roche and Plexxikon have signed a deal to develop and commercialize PLX4032, a therapy for cancer that selectively inhibits B-Raf(V600E), a mutated form of the BRAF kinase gene. As part of the deal, Plexxikon will receive $40 million up front and an additional $6 million research funding. If the company hits certain development milestones, it could earn up to $660 million, including royalties.

"There is a growing body of evidence demonstrating that agents such as PLX4032, which selectively inhibit activated kinases, are increasingly useful in treating cancer and improving patient outcomes," said Peter Hug, Roche's Global Head of Pharma Partnering in a statement. "We are very excited to partner with Plexxikon for the development of PLX4032 and other B-Raf(V600E) targeted compounds. This could be a further example of the potential of personalized medicine."

- see this report from Forbes for more on the deal