Sunesis Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and Chiesi Farmaceutici S.p.A have entered into a research collaboration to discover and develop small molecules that inhibit a well-validated protein-protein target involved in immunological diseases.
Using its proprietary discovery technology, Sunesis will generate development candidates and Chiesi will have an exclusive option to enter into an exclusive license to develop and market resulting products in Europe, Latin America, and other selected countries where Chiesi has a presence.
Sunesis will retain exclusive rights in North America, Japan and other countries.
Under the terms of the agreement, Sunesis will receive upfront payments, research funding, research and development milestones, and royalty payments based on sales.
The total value of the deal would range between $22 and $30 million and could exceed this depending on the number of indications and compounds, excluding royalties.
Dr. James Young, CEO of Sunesis, commented, “This relationship is a very important first collaboration for Sunesis for a couple of reasons. First, it allows us to work on a key protein-protein target that addresses large therapeutic markets, such as rheumatoid arthritis, with a company that has strong development expertise in these indications. Second, it validates an important component of Sunesis’ business strategy, which is to partner some programs regionally and retain rights to others. This agreement satisfies both of these goals in that we receive the benefit of Chiesi’s research funding, development capabilities and data, and marketing expertise in Europe, while retaining rights in the US and Japan. We are very pleased to be working with Chiesi, one of the fastest growing and most forward-thinking companies in Europe.”
Dr. Paolo Chiesi, Group Vice President and R&D Director of Chiesi, stated, “This agreement represents a major opportunity for Chiesi to have access to a very innovative technology which could enrich our pipeline in a therapeutic area in which the medical needs are still unsatisfied, and in which Chiesi has a strong history.”
Sunesis utilizes a revolutionary approach to drug discovery based on novel technologies that deliver high-affinity, small molecule, non- peptidic ligands to important drug targets in a rapid time frame.
Chiesi Farmaceutici is a European pharmaceutical company, headquartered in Parma, Italy, dedicated to the research, development, and commercialization of ethical therapeutic products.
The core business includes musculoskeletal, respiratory, cardiovascular, and CNS.