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Pharminox Limited, ("Pharminox" or "the Company") the private UK oncology R&D company, today announced that it has signed an agreement with the Schering-Plough Research Institute, the research arm of Schering-Plough Corporation (“Schering-Plough”), to undertake a joint research programme aimed at discovering novel small molecule anti-cancer therapies.
Under the terms of the agreement, Schering-Plough will provide funding to Pharminox for up to two years to carry out a focused medicinal chemistry programme to synthesise novel anti-cancer agents, which will be screened for anti-tumour activity at Schering-Plough’s laboratories in Kenilworth, New Jersey. Schering-Plough will have an option to license intellectual property arising from the programme, including potential clinical development candidates.
If Schering-Plough exercises its option it will take over full responsibility for the development and commercialisation of clinical development candidates arising from the collaboration, and Pharminox will be eligible to receive a series of pre-approval milestone payments as well as royalties on sales of commercialised products. Research funding and potential milestone payments to Pharminox under the collaboration could exceed $40 million, excluding royalties. Detailed financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
The Pharminox discovery team will be led by Professor Malcolm Stevens OBE, Chief Scientific Officer of Pharminox. Until September 2006, Professor Stevens was also Director of the Cancer Research UK Experimental Cancer Chemotherapy Group, latterly based at the University of Nottingham. In this role he was responsible for the discovery and early development of temozolomide, the market-leading treatment for malignant glioma, a common form of brain tumour. Temozolomide is licensed to and marketed by Schering-Plough globally.
Commenting on today’s announcement, Peter Worrall, Chief Executive of Pharminox said, “We are very pleased to be collaborating with Schering-Plough on this exciting new programme. As our first deal with a major pharmaceutical company it represents an important validation of Pharminox’s credentials in the field of cancer research, and reflects the high regard that Schering-Plough has for Professor Stevens and his team as a result of their earlier, highly successful collaboration on temozolomide.” Malcolm Stevens added, “I am delighted to be renewing my acquaintance with Schering-Plough and we look forward to working closely with the Schering-Plough team.”
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