26 June 2013 | News | By BioSpectrum Bureau
Cytokinetics and Astellas join hands for skeletal muscle activators
Singapore: US-based Cytokinetics and Japan-based Astellas Pharma entered in a two-year collaboration focused on the R&D and commercialization of skeletal muscle activators. The primary objective of the collaboration is to advance novel therapies for diseases and medical conditions associated with muscle weakness.
Astellas will have the exclusive rights to develop and commercialize drug candidates that may arise from these activities, subject to certain Cytokinetics' development and commercialization rights. In addition, Cytokinetics has granted Astellas an exclusive license to co-develop and commercialize Cytokinetics' drug candidate CK-2127107 in certain indications.
Cytokinetics is eligible to receive over $40 million in the form of an upfront payment and reimbursement of sponsored research and development activities during the initial two years of the collaboration. In addition, Cytokinetics is eligible to receive over $450 million in pre-commercialization and commercialization milestones plus royalties. The parties will jointly conduct research to identify next-generation skeletal muscle activators to be nominated as drug candidates.
Cytokinetics will combine its foremost position in the discovery and mechanistic biology of small molecule activators of skeletal muscle contractility with Astellas' advanced pharmaceutical discovery, development, and commercialization capabilities. During the research term, the companies will focus on expanding emerging opportunities in skeletal muscle contractility and will together identify, characterize, and optimize fast skeletal troponin activators and other potential novel mechanism skeletal muscle activators.
Mr Yoshihiko Hatanaka, president and CEO, Astellas, said that, "We are excited to work with Cytokinetics to expand the new frontier of muscle biology related to the very innovative mechanism of action of skeletal muscle activation. This new collaboration illustrates Astellas' important commitment to enhance its abilities to generate innovative drugs by deploying cutting-edge science, accessing distinguished internal and external talent, and utilizing the optimal research environment."