Antibiotic :: GSK & Anacor Pharmaceuticals form alliance to develop systemic antivirals and antibiotics

GlaxoSmithKline and Anacor Pharmaceuticals announced that they have entered into a worldwide strategic alliance for the discovery, development and commercialisation of novel medicines for viral and bacterial diseases. The collaboration provides GlaxoSmithKline access to Anacor’s proprietary boron-based chemistry for use against selected targets.

GlaxoSmithKline will participate in the alliance through its Infectious Diseases Centre of Excellence for Drug Discovery (ID CEDD). Under the terms of the agreement, Anacor will grant GlaxoSmithKline options to select product candidates developed under the collaboration that are directed to up to four discovery targets and with the potential for at least eight product options.

Anacor will primarily be responsible for the discovery and development of boron-containing small molecule drug candidates through clinical proof of concept, at which point GlaxoSmithKline will have an exclusive option to license each compound for further development and commercialisation on a worldwide basis.

Anacor will have the right to further develop and commercialise compounds for which GlaxoSmithKline does not exercise its option. Anacor will receive a $12 million upfront payment and a $10 million equity financing commitment from GlaxoSmithKline. Contingent on achieving certain milestones, Anacor is eligible to receive discovery, development, regulatory and commercial milestones ranging up to between $252 million and $331 million for each product candidate. If GlaxoSmithKline exercises its option at the proof of concept stage, Anacor will receive tiered double digit royalties, which are dependent on sales achieved.

Boron has been a relatively under utilised element in pharmaceutical products, in part due to a lack of naturally occurring boron-containing molecules to guide rational drug design. As a consequence of boron’s unique properties, boron containing molecules may access different chemical space than traditional anti-infectives, providing opportunities for structural and biological novelty. Anacor’s proprietary technological advances in the synthesis of boron-based compounds coupled with its rational drug design expertise, has enabled the company to rapidly create diverse families of boron-based compounds.

“We are pleased that GlaxoSmithKline, an industry leader in the development and commercialisation of anti-infective drugs has acknowledged the potential of our boron-based chemistry for systemic applications,” said David Perry, President and Chief Executive Officer. “This agreement with GlaxoSmithKline is consistent with our strategy to maximize the value of our technology platform by forming early collaborations for systemic applications of our boron technology, while developing topical products on our own to a more advanced stage.”

“GlaxoSmithKline recently created a single Centre of Excellence for Drug Discovery dedicated to Infectious Diseases,” said Zhi Hong, Senior Vice President and Head of GlaxoSmithKline’s ID CEDD. “We recognise the issues created by resistance to available medicines and are determined to take advantage of novel approaches that offer new prospects for treatments across a range of infectious diseases. Anacor’s boron-based chemistry has shown promise in inhibiting targets that are difficult to address with traditional carbon-based molecules and we look forward to further exploring its potential to provide new antiviral and antibiotic options.”

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