US-based biotechnology firm Carmot Therapeutics and Amgen have signed a multi-year drug discovery collaboration and licensing agreement to identify new product candidates for the treatment of certain disorders, including Parkinson’s disease.

Under the deal, the firms will leverage Carmot’s Chemotype Evolution lead-identification technology for the discovery of molecules.

While the firms plan to jointly select therapeutic targets and identify drug candidates, Amgen alone will supervise their clinical development, manufacturing and commercialisation.

Carmot Therapeutics CEO Stig Hansen said: “Our relationship with Amgen started in 2014 with our first discovery collaboration that was extended in 2016.

“We are delighted to announce a new and expanded collaboration with Amgen to discover drug candidates for challenging therapeutic targets.

“Discovering new medicines to treat debilitating neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s is a key area of focus for our Neuroscience research team.”

“Working with Amgen, we will be able to more fully leverage the capabilities of Chemotype Evolution to identify novel drug candidates for the benefit of patients.”

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The new agreement will enable Amgen to choose several targets and Carmot is set to obtain an upfront payment and research support.

Carmot will also potentially receive more than $240m in payments associated with pre-clinical, clinical, and commercialisation milestones, along with royalties on the net sales.

Amgen Neuroscience Research vice-president John Dunlop said: “Discovering new medicines to treat debilitating neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s is a key area of focus for our Neuroscience research team.

“We’re excited to expand Amgen’s relationship with Carmot to leverage its unique small molecule capabilities to address targets that traditionally have been very difficult to drug.”