GSK Exercises Option to License ChemoCentryx's CCR1 Inhibitor, CCX354, for the Treatment of Rheumatoid Arthritis

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif., Jan. 5, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- ChemoCentryx, Inc., today announced that GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) has exercised its option to obtain an exclusive license for further development and worldwide commercialization of the investigational medicine CCX354, a potent and selective inhibitor of CCR1, a chemokine receptor that drives the recruitment of inflammatory cells into the joints of patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA).  ChemoCentryx recently reported positive results from a Phase II clinical trial with CCX354 which investigated the safety, tolerability, clinical and biological activity of this compound in patients with RA. 

Under the terms of the collaboration, ChemoCentryx will receive an option exercise fee of $25 million and will be eligible for further regulatory and sales milestone payments.  Subject to successful development and commercialization of CCX354, ChemoCentryx will also receive double-digit royalties on net sales.  GSK will now be solely responsible for funding further clinical development and commercialization for CCX354 worldwide.

"This announcement is a key milestone for ChemoCentryx that further validates our ability to advance new medicines from drug discovery through clinical development," said Thomas J. Schall, Ph.D., President and Chief Executive Officer of ChemoCentryx.  "Furthermore, the exercise fee associated with this agreement provides additional financial flexibility to our already strong balance sheet.  GSK's continued enthusiasm and interest in our programs expands our relationship and highlights our belief in the tremendous potential of our innovative products. GSK's global reach and financial commitment will be invaluable to the advancement of CCX354 through the rest of its development."

This transaction represents the second product licensing opportunity resulting from the original collaboration with ChemoCentryx through GSK's Centre of Excellence for External Drug Discovery (CEEDD).  GSK previously exercised its option to license ChemoCentryx's CCX282-B (Traficet-EN), now designated GSK1605786 (also called GSK'786), a novel, orally active CCR9 inhibitor, for the treatment of inflammatory bowel disease, in January 2010.

About CCX354 and Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA)

CCX354 is a potent and selective antagonist of CCR1, a chemokine receptor that drives the recruitment of certain inflammatory cells including populations of monocytes, macrophages and T cells into the joints of patients with RA.  By selectively blocking the CCR1 receptor, CCX354 is designed to reduce the infiltration of inflammatory cells into the joints of RA patients, thus inhibiting the inflammation, swelling, pain and associated joint destruction while minimizing the potential for off-target effects. RA is estimated to affect more than two million people in the U.S. and is a leading cause of morbidity, disability and reduced work ability. The exact cause of RA is unknown, but is believed to reflect the body's immune system attack on the synovium, the tissue that lines the joints. Despite available treatments, there remains as significant unmet medical need for better therapies for RA.

About ChemoCentryx

ChemoCentryx, Inc. is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on discovering, developing and commercializing orally-administered therapeutics that target the chemokine and chemoattractant systems in order to treat autoimmune diseases, inflammatory disorders and cancer. The chemokine system is a biological network that regulates inflammation via a collection of secreted chemokine molecules, or ligands, and their specific cell surface receptors.  Based on its proprietary drug discovery and drug development platform, ChemoCentryx has generated multiple clinical and preclinical-stage programs, each targeting distinct chemokine and chemoattractant receptors with different small molecule compounds. ChemoCentryx's most advanced drug candidate, CCX282-B (Traficet-EN, now designated GSK1605786, also known as GSK'786), a specific CCR9 inhibitor, completed a multi-national clinical trial, called PROTECT-1, in patients with moderate-to-severe Crohn's disease, where it demonstrated the ability to induce a clinical response and to maintain clinical remission, and is now in Phase III clinical development. ChemoCentryx's lead independent drug candidate, CCX140-B, a CCR2 inhibitor, has been shown to be safe and well tolerated while demonstrating clinical activity on glycemic indices in a Phase II clinical trial in type 2 diabetics, and is now in Phase II clinical development for the treatment of diabetic nephropathy. Other clinical programs include CCX354, a CCR1 inhibitor which successfully completed a Phase II clinical trial for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis; CCX168, a C5aR inhibitor, in Phase II clinical development for the treatment of anti-neutrophil cytoplasmic antibody (ANCA)-associated vasculitis; and CCX832, a ChemR23 antagonist in Phase I clinical development.  ChemoCentryx also has several programs in advanced preclinical development.

Certain statements in this press release may constitute "forward-looking statements". These statements are made on the basis of current expectations, forecasts and assumptions that involve risks and uncertainties, including, but not limited to, economic, competitive, governmental and technological factors outside of our control, that may cause our business, strategy or actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied. We do not intend, and undertake no obligation, to update any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

SOURCE ChemoCentryx, Inc.