Prometheus Laboratories Inc., a specialty pharmaceutical and diagnostic company, has announced the execution of a research collaboration and license agreement with Bayer Schering Pharma AG, Germany. The collaboration partners Prometheus' proprietary oncology diagnostic platform with Bayer's broad oncology pipeline in an effort to stratify patients to appropriate drug candidates and potentially accelerate the development of novel oncology therapeutic products.
Under the terms of the non-exclusive agreement, Prometheus will receive an upfront payment, research and development support and testing fees, and potential additional payments upon the achievement of certain development milestones. Prometheus will be eligible for upfront and milestone payments up to $160 million if all drug candidates are successfully developed and obtain regulatory approval.
"A functional pathway analysis based on Prometheus' proprietary oncology diagnostic platform could allow for a comprehensive analysis of the tumor, patient stratification and efficacy predictability of individual targeted cancer therapeutics as well as most effective treatment combinations," said Prof. Andreas Busch, Head of Global Drug Discovery and Member of the Board of Management at Bayer Schering Pharma. "Developing such a diagnostic tool constitutes a significant step towards personalized medicine in cancer treatment and we are convinced this will increasingly become the standard of clinical care in oncology."
"This collaboration represents a pioneering relationship between drug development and personalized medicine, and demonstrates the potential of our emerging diagnostic platform," said Joseph M. Limber, President and Chief Executive Officer of Prometheus. "We believe our technology is a powerful tool to complement the robust oncology pipeline at Bayer to help select patients who will benefit the most from specific drug candidates, to design more efficient clinical trials, to increase the probability of success and ultimately to improve the potential outcome for patients."
Prometheus' proprietary oncology diagnostic platform has the ability to measure the expression and activation of specific cancer pathways with high levels of sensitivity and specificity via tissue or blood sample. This technology has the potential to be used not only in the development process to select and evaluate the efficacy of drugs but also in the clinical setting to enable real-time molecular profiling, monitor drug effectiveness and direct the use of a growing number of targeted therapies.