Japan-based Astellas Pharma has partnered with Proteostasis Therapeutics for research, development and commercialisation of therapies, which modulate the unfolded protein response (UPR).
Under the deal, Proteostasis’ Disease Relevant Translation (DRT) and Proteostasis Network platform will be used to develop therapies.
As part of the agreement, Proteostasis will receive an initial upfront payment from Astellas and also securities investment.
Proteostasis Therapeutics president Meenu Chhabra said: "Our novel approach to drug discovery, coupled with Astellas’ track record in drug development, will enable rapid discovery and development of therapies for important unmet medical needs."
Proteostasis will receive total payments of $400m, based on the achievement of future development and commercial milestones, as well as in the form of a research fund. It is also eligible to receive tiered royalties.
Astellas was provided with an option to begin two additional projects under the same terms. If the right is fully exercised, value of the collaboration will be nearly $1.2bn.
Initially, the partnership will concentrate on one genetic disease, and further explore additional indications, which can be affected through modulation of the UPR pathway.
The firms will carry out discovery, screening and preclinical research to identify lead compounds for clinical development, as part of the deal.
Astellas senior vice-president Kenji Yasukawa said: "Proteostasis Therapeutics has a novel platform that offers a differentiated approach to discovering drugs for unmet medical needs."