GSK and EPIX Enter Drug Discovery and Development alliance
Tuesday, December 12, 2006
GlaxoSmithKline (NYSE:GSK) and EPIX Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:EPIX) today announced a worldwide multi-target strategic collaboration to discover, develop and market novel medicines targeting four G-protein coupled receptors (GPCRs) for the treatment of a variety of diseases, including EPIX’s novel 5-HT4 partial agonist program, PRX-03140, in early-stage clinical development for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease. The alliance with GSK will be conducted through its Center of Excellence for External Drug Discovery (CEEDD).

EPIX will receive total initial payments of $35 million, including $17.5 million through the purchase of 3,009,027 shares of common stock. In addition, EPIX will be eligible to earn potential milestones of up to $1.2 billion based on the achievement of certain discovery, development, regulatory and commercial milestones across the four GPCR programs. EPIX will also receive tiered double-digit royalties on sales by GSK of all collaboration-developed product sales.

EPIX will be responsible for the discovery and development of small molecule drug candidates targeting four GPCRs, including PRX-03140 for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease, through to clinical proof of concept, at which point GSK will have an exclusive option to license each product for further development and commercialization on a worldwide basis. In addition to the upfront payment, EPIX has the opportunity to earn milestone payments upon the achievement of specified development and regulatory milestones in each of the programs. If GSK exercises the option to license EPIX’s 5-HT4 partial agonist program, EPIX will retain the right to co-promote any products from that program in the United States.

"We are very pleased to enter into this collaboration with GSK, a world-class pharmaceutical company," stated Michael G. Kauffman, M.D., Ph.D., chief executive officer of EPIX. "This alliance will provide us with access to significant capital in the near and long term to support the ongoing development of PRX-03140 and three additional programs, as well as the ability to continue to move forward our existing programs. Furthermore, the co-promotion option in this collaboration provides further opportunity for EPIX to build a sales force in the future."

Chen Schor, chief business officer of EPIX added, "We were looking for a partner that would appreciate our proprietary drug discovery expertise. GSK’s vast experience in clinical development and commercialization, especially in diseases of the central nervous system, make them the ideal partner for the continued development of our 5-HT4 Alzheimer’s program, as well as the other GPCR targets that will be the focus of this alliance."

Maxine Gowen, Ph.D. Senior Vice President and head of GSK’s CEEDD stated, "This alliance with EPIX again demonstrates the CEEDD’s and GSK’s commitment to accessing leading-edge innovation. We are very excited to be working with the EPIX team both on the existing 5HT4 program in Alzheimer’s disease, a key disease area for GSK, and on other GPCR programs which will be initiated as part of this collaboration."

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