Tokyo-based biotech PeptiDream received an unspecified milestone payment from Bristol-Myers Squibb ($BMY) for advancing a macrocyclic compound identified by the Japanese company into clinical trials--marking a first for a collaboration started in 2010 for the University of Tokyo spinout.
In a press release, PeptiDream, listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange mainboard, said that unidentified candidate is also eligible to receive additional milestone payments if the clinical trial proceeds further and tiered royalties if it reaches approval.
“This is the first macrocyclic peptide to enter clinical testing from the discovery collaboration between the two companies, and represents another validation of the potential of our macrocyclic peptides to offer an exciting alternative to monoclonal antibodies for targeting challenging protein-protein interactions,” Kiichi Kubota, CEO of PeptiDream, said in a statement.
The Japanese company has a slew of partnerships including a collaboration signed with Merck ($MRK) to produce targeted peptides for treating a variety of diseases, and has become a hot stock, according to Bloomberg, with shares up more than 9 times since listing in 2013 as its efforts at finding drug candidates attract attention.
“Everybody comes to PeptiDream,” Hiroaki Suga, discoverer of the enzyme PeptiDream uses in its Peptide Discovery Platform System, told Bloomberg in an interview. “Everybody probably accepts now that the technology we developed is very, very smart, very efficient.”