London, UK, July 12, 2010 – MRC Technology (UK) announced today that it has entered into an agreement with Genentech, Inc., a wholly owned member of the Roche Group (SIX: RO, ROG; OTCQX: RHHBY) for an exclusive licence to a series of small molecule drug candidates for the potential treatment of neurological disease.
This is the first small molecule chemistry programme to come out of MRC Technology’s Centre for Therapeutics Discovery (CTD) and the first major small molecule collaboration the CTD has formed with an industry partner.
Under the terms of the agreement, MRC Technology will receive an upfront payment and is eligible to receive clinical development milestone payments and royalties on sales. Full financial terms and the target of the small molecule project have not been disclosed.
Working with investigators funded through UK’s Medical Research Council, MRC Technology’s CTD initiated a small molecule drug discovery programme that included medicinal chemistry, biology, analytical and DMPK Computational Chemistry. CTD was formed one year ago from the MRC Technology Drug Discovery Group, expanding its capability and capacity to provide the UK with a national drug discovery resource with the critical mass to progress high quality projects towards clinical benefit. MRC Technology works with targets not only from the UK’s Medical Research Council but has a pipeline of targets from academic organisations worldwide.
Dr Dave Tapolczay, CEO of MRC Technology, said, “We are delighted that we have been able to partner this programme with Genentech, and extremely pleased that the terms of our agreement reflect the value of the small molecule drug discovery programme and support our innovative business model.”
“This licensing deal is just one example of the innovative ways that MRC Technology is now exploiting both its small molecule and therapeutic antibody capabilities. We can collaborate with other technology transfer organizations, on a shared risk basis, to develop small molecule drug discovery programmes and targets with therapeutic potential. When the resulting clinical candidate is subsequently licensed, both parties will not only accomplish their translational research aims, but also share in its commercial success going forward.”