BOULDER, Colo., and CAMBRIDGE, Mass., Sept. 5 /PRNewswire/ --
Array BioPharma Inc. (Nasdaq: ARRY) and Vertex Pharmaceuticals Incorporated
(Nasdaq: VRTX) today announced the establishment of a collaboration to
discover and develop small molecule drugs directed at two specific targets in
the phosphatase protein family.
"This collaboration with Array enables Vertex to further expand its
chemogenomics approach targeting phosphatases, a gene family believed to
contain numerous specific targets that are suitable for small molecule drug
design," said Joshua Boger, Ph.D., Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of
Vertex. "We look forward to working together with the scientific team at
Array to rapidly discover drug candidates for clinical development."
Under the terms of this agreement, Vertex will provide Array with an
upfront fee and research funding over three years. Array will be responsible
for initial drug discovery, including lead generation and lead optimization.
Vertex may conduct its own research in the area and will be responsible for
all aspects of clinical development and commercialization. For products it
discovers, Array will be entitled to receive clinical milestone payments. If
these products are commercialized, Array will also be entitled to additional
milestone payments. These milestones would be paid on an annual basis for a
defined term and are tied to predetermined sales levels.
"We are delighted to partner with Vertex, a highly respected biotechnology
company that also shares our vision of accelerating the drug discovery
process," said Robert E. Conway, Chief Executive Officer of Array BioPharma.
"This agreement is representative of our strategy to leverage our expertise
across a broad range of therapeutic areas and build greater long term value
into our drug discovery alliances."
Phosphatases are enzymes that represent key control points in biological
pathways. Phosphatases typically function to remove a phosphate group from an
active protein, reducing the activity of that protein and de-activating a
biological pathway. Inhibiting specific phosphatases may help to enhance the
activity of therapeutically beneficial proteins and pathways. There are
approximately 100 known phosphatases. Many different phosphatases have been
associated with cancer, autoimmune and inflammatory disease, cardiovascular
disease, metabolic disease and neurological disease, and are widely considered
to be ideal targets for intervention with small molecule drugs. The
structural similarities of protein targets in the phosphatase gene family
provide an opportunity to leverage medicinal chemistry across multiple targets
in parallel, accelerating small molecule drug design. Both independently and
with collaborative partners, Array has ongoing research efforts focused on the
phosphatase gene family. Vertex, in addition to the two protein phosphatase
programs being pursued with Array, has exploratory research efforts underway
targeting additional phosphatases.
About Vertex Pharmaceuticals
Vertex Pharmaceuticals Incorporated is a global biotechnology company.
Vertex seeks to discover, develop and commercialize major pharmaceutical
products independently and with partners. Chemogenomics, Vertex's
proprietary, systematic, genomics-based platform, is designed to accelerate
the discovery of new drugs and to expand intellectual property coverage of
drug candidate compounds and classes of related compounds. This approach,
which targets gene families, has formed the basis for several commercial
collaborations that retain rights to downstream revenue for Vertex. Vertex's
first approved product is Agenerase(R) (amprenavir), an HIV protease
inhibitor, which Vertex co-promotes with GlaxoSmithKline. Vertex has 12 drug
candidates in development to treat viral diseases, inflammation, cancer,
autoimmune diseases and neurological disorders. Agenerase(R) is a trademark
of the GlaxoSmithKline group of companies.
About Array BioPharma
Array BioPharma is a drug discovery company creating new drugs through the
integration of chemistry, structural biology and chemoinformatics. Array
collaborates with leading pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies to
identify novel small molecule drugs and leverages its discovery platform to
develop its own pipeline of proprietary drug candidates. The Array scientific
team has a proven track record of success in identifying promising drug
Vertex Pharmaceuticals Safe Harbor Statement
This press release contains forward-looking statements regarding the
expected benefits to be realized by Vertex from its agreement with Array,
including that the agreement will allow Vertex to further expand its
chemogenomics approach targeting phosphatases and that it may enable Vertex to
rapidly discover drug candidates for clinical development. While Vertex's
management makes its best efforts to be accurate in making forward-looking
statements, such statements are subject to risks and uncertainties that could
cause actual results to vary materially. These risks and uncertainties
include, among other things, that the agreement may be terminated by either
party, that Vertex may be unable to further identify, develop and achieve
commercial success for new products and technologies, that Vertex may be
unable to rapidly identify promising drug candidates, that Vertex may be
unable to successfully finance, market, and secure regulatory approval for its
drug candidates, that Vertex is dependant upon pharmaceutical and
biotechnology collaborations and the levels and timing of payments under
Vertex's collaborative agreements, that Vertex may be unable to obtain new
corporate collaborations, maintain existing collaborations and acquire new
technologies on satisfactory terms, if at all, that Vertex may be unable to
adequately protect its proprietary technologies against patent-infringement
claims, and risks of new, changing and competitive technologies and
regulations in the U.S. and internationally. Vertex disclaims any intention
or obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a
result of new information, future events or otherwise.
|Array BioPharma Safe Harbor Statement
||This press release contains forward-looking statements within the
||meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 that involve
||significant risks and uncertainties, including those discussed below and
||described more fully in reports filed by Array with the Securities and
||Exchange Commission, including our final prospectus as filed on November 16,
||2000. Because these statements reflect our current expectations concerning
||future events, our actual results could differ materially from those
||anticipated in these forward-looking statements as a result of many factors.
||These factors include, but are not limited to, our ability to achieve and
||maintain profitability, the extent to which the pharmaceutical and
||biotechnology industries are willing to collaborate with third parties on
||their drug discovery activities, the ability of our collaborators and of Array
||to meet drug discovery objectives tied to milestones and royalties, and our
||ability to attract and retain experienced scientists and management. We are
||providing this information as of September 5, 2001. We undertake no duty to
||update any forward-looking statements to reflect the occurrence of events or
||circumstances after the date of such statements or of anticipated or
||unanticipated events that alter any assumptions underlying such statements.
Vertex's press releases are available at www.vrtx.com.
Array BioPharma's press releases are available at www.arraybiopharma.com.
For further information, please contact Lynne Brum, Vice President,
Corporate Communications and Market Development, +1-617-444-6614, Michael
Partridge, Associate Director, Corporate Communications, +1-617-444-6108, or
Michele Karpf Belansky, Manager, Product Communications, +1-617-444-6259, all
of Vertex Pharmaceuticals; or Tricia Haugeto, Manager, Communications of Array
BioPharma, +1-303-386-1193, firstname.lastname@example.org.
SOURCE Array BioPharma Inc.
CONTACT: Lynne Brum, Vice President, Corporate Communications and Market
Development, +1-617-444-6614, Michael Partridge, Associate Director, Corporate
Communications, +1-617-444-6108, or Michele Karpf Belansky, Manager, Product
Communications, +1-617-444-6259, all of Vertex Pharmaceuticals; or Tricia
Haugeto, Manager, Communications of Array BioPharma, +1-303-386-1193,