Molecular model

US-based developer of new medicines in oncology, Forma Therapeutics, has entered into a second strategic collaboration and option agreement with Celgene to identify potential new drugs.

The new deal expands a previous relationship between the two companies, and will allow Forma to extend its unique capabilities across broad areas of chemistry and biology.

It will also expand Forma’s preclinical and future clinical development efforts, encompassing numerous protein target families and covering a broad range of therapeutic areas.

The deal includes a $225m upfront payment and an initial term of three and half years, when Celgene can opt for as many as two additional two-year terms for upfront payments totalling $375m.

During the third collaboration term, Celgene can exercise its option to acquire Forma including the US rights to all of its licensed drug programmes, as well as the worldwide rights to other wholly owned programmes within Forma at that time.

The deal will see utilisation of Forma’s screening technique to identify potential new drugs, which can be licensed by Celgene.

As part of the deal, Celgene has an option to license the rights to select current and future Forma programmes in exchange for undisclosed additional development and regulatory milestone payments.

"Upon completion of Phase I clinical trials, Celgene will assume responsibility for all global development activities and costs."

Upon completion of Phase I clinical trials, Celgene will assume responsibility for all global development activities and costs.

Forma retains US rights to all such licensed assets, including responsibility for manufacturing and commercialisation.

Celgene president of global research and early development Thomas Daniel said: "Progress in our existing collaboration, coupled with emerging evidence of the power of Forma’s platform to generate unique chemical matter across important emerging target families, leads us to expand the collaboration and enable a unique collaborative relationship, one that complements the significant strengths of our internal discovery and development organisation."

The new collaboration is based upon a very strategic relationship and complete alignment between the companies’ R&D efforts and it will allow Forma’s powerful drug discovery engine to probe multiple emerging areas of biology in the pursuit of step-ahead therapies for future patients.

Forma Therapeutics president and CEO Steven Tregay said: "Importantly, this new alliance enables FORMA to maintain autonomy in defining our research strategy and conducting discovery through early clinical development of our product portfolio."

Image: New allaince helps probe multiple emerging areas of biology. Photo: courtesy of