Proteostasis Therapeutics (PTI) Says It Achieves Preclinical Milestone in Astellas Pharma Collaboration

August 8, 2016 10:59 AM EDT
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Proteostasis Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ: PTI), a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company developing small molecule therapeutics to treat diseases caused by dysfunctional protein processing, today announced that it has successfully completed a key preclinical milestone in its collaboration with Astellas Pharma Inc. (Astellas). The milestone, which triggered an undisclosed payment from Astellas, demonstrated that selective modulation of the Unfolded Protein Response (UPR) pathway in vitro is potentially an effective disease-modifying approach in the treatment of multiple diseases with few or no therapies currently available.

“We are very encouraged to reach this milestone so early in our collaboration with Astellas,” said Meenu Chhabra, President and Chief Executive Officer at Proteostasis Therapeutics. “Demonstrating the value of the UPR pathway is an early positive signal in this collaboration with Astellas, and additionally, it provides yet another proof point supporting the broad applicability and power in our discovery platform as achieved through use of our proprietary Disease Relevant Translation and Proteostasis Network.”

As a result of this achievement, Proteostasis Therapeutics is also eligible for future research funding, development and commercial milestones, under the agreement, subject to the achievement of future milestones, which could result in total payments of more than $400 million, as well as tiered royalties. Astellas retains the right to begin two additional projects under the same terms, which, if it fully exercised this right, would bring the total potential value of the collaboration to $1.2 billion.

“The achievement of this key preclinical milestone marks a transition point for our collaboration as it proves one of the basic scientific tenets underlying the program. We remain enthusiastic about the UPR as a very interesting and potentially important target for protein conformational diseases and expect to use that knowledge to deliver new therapeutic options to the clinic and, ultimately, to patients in need,” said Kenji Yasukawa, Ph.D., Senior Vice President and Chief Strategy Officer, Astellas.

The collaboration focuses on several undisclosed indications that could be treated through modulation of the UPR pathway. As part of the agreement, the companies are conducting discovery, screening and preclinical research to identify lead compounds for clinical development. Upon candidate selection, Proteostasis Therapeutics will have the rights to opt in for global co-development and United States co-promotion.

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