Gilead Sciences has entered into a strategic collaboration with Nurix Therapeutics for the development of novel therapies for cancer and other diseases.
As part of the multi-year collaboration, both the firms will involve in the discovery, development and commercialisation of a pipeline of novel targeted protein degradation drugs for patients with cancer and other challenging diseases.
Dysregulated or mutated proteins will play a significant role in the development and advancement of multiple human diseases.
Nurix’s technology platform is said to focus on the manipulation of the ubiquitin system and its component E3 ligases help in the control of protein levels in human cells.
Gilead Sciences research and development head and chief scientific officer Dr John McHutchison said: “Nurix’s innovative protein degradation discovery technology provides Gilead with a new strategy to interrogate these drug targets, as we continue to build a pipeline of small molecule therapeutics for patients with cancers and other diseases.”
Under the deal, Nurix will use its advanced drug discovery platform to detect novel agents that deploy E3 ligases to induce degradation of specified drug targets.
Gilead has a chance to licence drug candidates directed to up to five targets resulting from the collaboration.
Nurix will hold the option to co-develop and co-detail up to two programmes in the US. The deal excludes the lead degradation programme of Nurix, for which the company retains all rights.
As per terms of the deal, Nurix will secure an upfront payment of $45m (£35.7m) from Gilead. The firm is also eligible to secure up to $2.3bn (£1.8bn) in total additional payments based on the achievement of certain research, pre-clinical, clinical, regulatory and commercialisation milestones, as well as up to low double-digit tiered royalties on net sales.
The firm will equally divide development costs, as profits and losses for those programs that Nurix opts in to co-develop and co-detail in the US. It will also have an option to receive royalties on ex-US sales and reduced milestone payments.
Nurix CEO Dr Arthur Sands said: “This partnership expands our ability to build our pipeline of novel targeted protein degradation drugs based on our established expertise in the field of protein homeostasis, while we continue to independently advance our lead programs into the clinic.”