Our Toronto office advised FACIT and its subsidiary, Propellon, on a partnership between Triphase Accelerator and Celgene to research, develop and commercialize a top tier preclinical therapeutic, originally developed by the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research (OICR) for the treatment of blood cancers such as leukemia. The WDR5 protein is critical for the formation and activities of certain protein complexes that are associated with DNA and indirectly modify genes. This process represents/ signifies the beginning of a new therapeutic field known as epigenetics.
The transaction is the largest to date for Canadian-discovered preclinical assets arising from Ontario collaborators. Under the terms of the transaction, Celgene is entitled to acquire TRPH-395, a small molecule inhibitor that interrupts WDR5 protein-protein interactions from Triphase, and will pay US$40m if it chooses to exercise this option in addition to US$940m in contingent development, regulatory and sales milestones. Additional payments for sales-based royalties are also possible.
OICR is a collaborative not-for-profit research institute focused on accelerating the translation of new cancer research discoveries to patients around the world while maximizing the economic benefit of this research for the people of Ontario. FACIT focuses on further commercializing and developing OICR discoveries. FACIT aims to further develop novel compounds through Phase 2 proof-of-concept, including the WDR5 program.
The team was led by Vanessa Grant and included Matthew Literovich, Amanda Ferriss, Beth Edmonstone and Samantha Black.