UCB Pharma enters into agreement to collaborate on two Biotherapeutic Inflammation Programs with Millennium
UCB Pharma to Develop through Phase II; Millennium Retains Development and Commercialization Options
Brussels, 25 January 2005 - UCB Pharma's Celltech Antibody Research Centre of Excellence and Millennium Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: MLNM) today announced they have entered into an agreement in which they will collaborate to research, develop and commercialize new antibody therapeutics generated from two validated Millennium targets: a co-stimulatory molecule and a chemokine receptor.
The co-stimulatory molecule is a CD28 homologue and has been implicated in the regulation and activation of T cells. The chemokine receptor is expressed on peripheral T cells and has been implicated in multiple inflammatory diseases, including psoriasis, ulcerative colitis and graft rejection. Millennium controls broad patent estates relating to therapeutics directed to these targets.
Under the terms of the agreement, UCB Pharma will be responsible for development activities and related costs through phase II studies, including generating antibody candidates, and the preclinical and early stage clinical evaluation of antibodies. Upon the agreement of the parties, Millennium retains the option to co-develop and co-commercialize products with UCB Pharma, under a cost- and profit-sharing arrangement. UCB Pharma will make payments to Millennium upon achievement of certain clinical milestones. Additional financial details were not disclosed.
"Our highest priority is to develop a balanced and comprehensive portfolio. By working with UCB Pharma, we are able to accelerate development of these two exciting programs while concentrating more of our internal resources to maximize development of our later stage pipeline programs," said Joseph Bolen, Ph.D, senior vice president, discovery research at Millennium. "With UCB Pharma's world-leading antibody expertise, gained through its recent acquisition of Celltech, along with its extensive global commercial reach, we believe it is the ideal partner to rapidly progress these exciting programs into clinical trials."
Dr Melanie Lee, Director of Research and Development for UCB Pharma commented: "We believe this new collaboration adds two interesting novel targets to our research pipeline, creating a formidable partnership to bring the next wave of innovation to sufferers of inflammatory disorders."
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