LifeMine Therapeutics Inc., a biopharmaceutical company reinventing drug discovery by mining genetically-encoded small molecules (GEMs) from the biosphere, today announced a strategic R&D collaboration with GlaxoSmithKline (GSK).
The collaboration will provide GSK with access to LifeMine’s genomically enabled drug discovery platform to identify novel small molecule leads directed to up to three human targets provided by GSK addressing multiple disease areas.
Under the terms of the collaboration, LifeMine will receive an upfront payment of $70 million that includes both cash and an equity investment by GSK in LifeMine in its Series C round of financing. In addition, LifeMine is eligible to receive undisclosed discovery, development and commercial milestone payments for each collaboration product. LifeMine will be also eligible to receive royalties on net sales of any drug from the collaboration that is commercialized by GSK. LifeMine and GSK will collaborate closely on the discovery process, with each company leveraging its core capabilities and equally sharing costs to IND filing. GSK will be responsible for all development and commercialization.
Gregory Verdine, Ph.D., co-founder, chief executive officer and chief scientific officer of LifeMine said:
This is a transformative collaboration for LifeMine, and marks the first such agreement in genomic drug discovery from fungi, nature’s virtuoso medicinal chemists. We are thrilled to partner with GSK to expand the potential of our drug discovery engine while we continue to advance our own lead programs. We look forward to a productive partnership which we are confident will result in novel therapeutic options for patients.
LifeMine aims to bring unparalleled speed, predictability and scalability to small-molecule drug discovery, offering the potential to rapidly advance multiple high-impact precision medicines to solve intractable disease challenges, irrespective of therapeutic area. LifeMine’s Avatar-Rx platform seamlessly integrates high-throughput microbiology, data science and machine learning, genome engineering and automation technologies to search the fungal biosphere for novel GEMs having a predetermined target and biological function. Downstream of GEM discovery, LifeMine’s platform further integrates chemoinformatic-assisted drug optimization and state-of-the art chemical synthesis with biotransformation to advance new product candidates into development.
John Lepore, SVP, Head of Research, GSK said:
GSK’s drug discovery approach focuses on advanced technologies, including human genetics, functional genomics and machine learning to increase our probability of success. This approach leads to genetically validated targets that are twice as likely to succeed as medicines, but due to their novelty often require innovation to unlock their potential. We are looking forward to teaming up with LifeMine to use their cutting-edge platform, so together we can identify what nature might have already created as chemistry starting points to increase our chances of developing transformational new drugs for patients.