Phenex grabs $135M discovery deal with J&J

Germany's Phenex Pharmaceuticals AG has signed on with J&J ($JNJ) to seek out new drugs that target the nuclear hormone receptor RORγT, opening the door to new small molecule treatments that can be used to treat a range of inflammatory conditions like rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, and inflammatory bowel disease. No details on the upfront were offered, but the biotech says the whole package, including milestones, adds up to a potential $135 million payoff. "This collaboration represents a landmark deal for Phenex," comments Dr. Claus Kremoser, CEO of Phenex. "It combines Phenex's nuclear receptor expertise, the accomplishments of its RORγT program and the immunology expertise of Janssen so that we will work together to discover new RORγT based treatments for autoimmune diseases. We hope that small molecule drugs that target RORγT will prove to be a safe, effective and affordable means to treat autoimmune disease, a marketplace within which there remains a need for differentiated therapies." Release

Suggested Articles

The deal gives J&J a stake in the development and commercialization of anticoagulants including phase 2-ready secondary stroke candidate BMS-986177.

Boehringer gained the global rights to OSE's SIRP-alpha antagonist, which is in development for solid tumors.

Lilly is diving into encapsulated beta cell treatments, designed to restore insulin production in patients with Type 1 diabetes.