X-Chem, a privately held biotechnology company applying its innovative drug discovery platform to the generation of novel small molecule therapeutics, announced a collaboration with Vertex Pharmaceuticals. X-Chem will apply its proprietary DEXTM libraries, which contain more than 120 billion small molecules, toward the discovery of new drug leads against targets involved in multiple specialty diseases. Vertex will have the option to license lead-like hits discovered under the collaboration, and will be responsible for further development and commercialization of the resulting programs.
“We look forward to working closely with Vertex, a recognized innovator in discovery of first-in-class treatments for severe, life-threatening diseases,” said Rick Wagner, Ph.D., chief executive officer of X-Chem. “The combination of X-Chem’s DEXTM platform and Vertex’s expertise has great potential to generate promising leads that could lead to medicines for the treatment of serious, specialty diseases with high unmet needs.”
“As Vertex continues to grow and diversify its R&D pipeline, we look to complement our productive internal efforts with other organizations who share our passion to treat diseases for which there is no existing treatment,” said Mark Bunnage, senior vice president and Boston Research Site Head at Vertex. “With a cutting-edge small molecule lead discovery platform, X-Chem is ideally suited to help Vertex tackle challenging rare-disease targets.”
Under the terms of the agreement, X-Chem will receive an upfront payment and potential research, development and regulatory milestones and licensing fees. X-Chem is also eligible for royalties on revenues from medicines originating from the collaboration. The agreement includes the option for an expansion to include additional targets.