Debiopharm and MSM to Collaborate on Novel Oncology Biologic

August 12, 2009

Debiopharm Group (Lausanne, Switzerland) and MSM Protein Technologies (MSM, Boston, MA) have entered into an exclusive agreement for the development and commercialization of Debio 0929, an antibody targeting a G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR), to be developed into a new oncology therapeutic drug.

Debiopharm Group (Lausanne, Switzerland), a global biopharmaceutical group of companies with a focus on the development of prescription drugs that target unmet medical needs, and MSM Protein Technologies (MSM, Boston, MA), a human antibody drug discovery company, have entered into an exclusive agreement for the development and commercialization of Debio 0929, an antibody targeting a G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR), to be developed into a new oncology therapeutic drug.

GPCRs comprise a large protein family of transmembrane receptors that sense molecules outside the cell and activate inside signal transduction pathways and, ultimately, cellular responses. A G-protein is an intracellular membrane-associated protein, responsible for activating the signaling cascade. GPCRs are coupled to G-proteins. GPCRs are the largest, most versatile group of membrane receptors and also the most pharmaceutically important, because more than 30% of the low-molecular weight drugs currently on the market are targeting this kind of receptors.

Under the terms of the agreement, Debiopharm and MSM have formed a partnership to select antibodies against the GPCR. After completion of the discovery phase, MSM will grant Debiopharm a worldwide exclusive license for the development and commercialization of the antibody. MSM will retain marketing rights for Russia, the Ukraine, and several other countries in Eastern Europe and Asia. MSM will receive milestone payments from Debiopharm during the development of the product, and a share of royalties on net sales.