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Celgene will pay Agios $200 million to lead exploratory, research, drug discovery, and early development work for metabolic immuno-oncology.
Celgene Corporation and Agios Pharmaceuticals have plans to collaborate on the development and commercialization of metabolic immuno-oncology therapies, Celgene said in a May 17, 2016 press announcement. According to the terms of the agreement, Celgene will pay Agios $200 million in cash up front, with the potential for additional payments depending on certain development and regulatory milestones for the four-year research term. As part of the collaboration, Agios will lead all exploratory, research, drug discovery, and early development work.
Metabolic immuno-oncology works by altering the metabolic state of immune cells, or the tumor microenvironment, to enhance the body’s immune response to cancer, Celgene said in a press statement. Metabolism, they assert, may play a role in the regulation of immune cells and their response to tumors.
"The immune system's ability to attack tumors is highly regulated by cellular metabolism. This emerging discipline of metabolic immuno-oncology has great potential to provide novel insights and targets for cancer immunotherapy in solid and hematologic malignancies," said Rob Hershberg, MD, PhD, chief scientific officer at Celgene in a press announcement. "This strategic agreement combines Agios' scientific leadership in cellular metabolism with Celgene's expertise and growing efforts in immuno-oncology and builds upon the extremely productive partnership and working relationship that exist between our two companies."