Prosetta, Bristol-Myers Squibb ink HIV drug research deal
The companies signed a multi-year drug discovery and development deal that initially targets the AIDS virus.
Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. and Prosetta Antiviral Inc. -- one of San Francisco's oldest biotech companies -- signed a multi-year drug discovery and development deal that initially targets the AIDS virus, the companies said Tuesday.
Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, but Prosetta will receive an upfront payment and research funding from Bristol-Myers Squibb (NYSE: BMY). Prosetta also will be eligible for milestone payments and royalties on worldwide sales, if any drugs emerge from the deal.
The collaboration focuses on compounds that block assembly of a viral capsid, or the protein shell of a virus. That could become a new focus for HIV-fighting drugs as the AIDS virus builds up resistance to current antiretroviral drugs.
Prosetta's portfolio of potential drugs -- all preclinical at this point -- stems from its work in cell-free protein synthesis. They zero in on protein interactions that are essential for a virus but not the host.
The company, whose advisory board includes University of California, San Francisco, HIV researcher Mike McCune, is in the process of raising $15.8 million, according to a July 24 Securities and Exchange Commission filing.
"We greatly value this opportunity to collaborate with Bristol-Myers Squibb scientists in a joint program dedicated to a completely new approach to protecting human health against viral infections," Dr. Dr. Vishwanath Lingappa, Prosetta's chief technology officer and co-CEO, said in a press release.
Prosetta Bioconformatics was founded almost 10 years ago and split two years ago into Prosetta Antiviral and Prosetta Inc., which focuses on a wide range of diseases, including cancer and central nervous system disorders.
By Ron Leuty
Source: The Bisuness Journals