Celgene teams up with Vividion Therapeutics on small molecule therapies

 Vividion Therapeutics, a biotechnology company using revolutionary proteomics and chemistry platforms, has announced a strategic research collaboration with Celgene Corporation. The multi-year collaboration is focused on the identification and development of unique small molecules against targets for a range of oncology, inflammatory and neurodegenerative indications. The collaboration is intended to advance new small molecules that function through the ubiquitin proteasome system, modulating specific protein levels for therapeutic benefit.

“Vividion has assembled a truly cutting-edge drug discovery platform that offers the opportunity to accelerate drug delivery in new and impactful ways by expanding the druggable proteome and addressing difficult targets,” said Rupert Vessey, President, Research and Early Development, Celgene. “This collaboration will provide both companies with the opportunity for a comprehensive, accelerated drug discovery approach to develop first-in-class therapeutics in areas with high potential impact for patients.”

“We are extremely pleased to collaborate with a leading medical innovator, Celgene. Our unique drug discovery capabilities provide new, expanded therapeutic possibilities,” said Diego Miralles, CEO of Vividion. “We believe we can transform and accelerate the way small molecules are discovered, as our proprietary screening technology rapidly identifies and advances chemistry for targets that until now have remained undruggable.”

Under the terms of the collaboration, Vividion will receive an upfront payment of $101 million, which includes an equity investment from Celgene. The initial term of the collaboration is four years, with the opportunity for Celgene to extend for another two years for an additional payment.

The collaboration utilizes Vividion’s platform to identify ligands and discover drug candidates against a selected list of high value, difficult-to-drug targets. This platform makes accessible the broad set of proteins expressed in human cells and for the first time allows protein-drug interactions to be assessed with precision directly in native biological systems.

Vividion will lead initial discovery efforts and identification of programs to be included in the collaboration, and Celgene will have the right to opt in on those programs at IND application acceptance.  For certain programs, including the first program, Celgene will receive exclusive worldwide rights, with the potential for Vividion to receive up to double-digit royalties on sales and milestone payments.  Other programs will allow for Celgene and Vividion to share equally either U.S. or worldwide development costs and commercialization profits and losses.