News Feature | December 17, 2014

X-Chem, Alexion To Develop Drugs For Ultra-Rare Disorders

By Estel Grace Masangkay

X-Chem, a private biotech firm developing novel small molecule drugs via its DNA-encoded library platform, announced that it has entered into a drug discovery partnership with Alexion to jointly develop treatments for severe and ultra-rare disorders.

Under the terms of the agreement, X-Chem will use its drug discovery engine based on its giant library holding more than 100 billion molecules to determine novel drug leads against therapeutic targets selected by Alexion, while Alexion will hold the exclusive global rights to develop and market any resulting novel compounds from the partnership. X-Chem in turn will receive an upfront fee in addition to milestone payments based on certain R&D and regulatory goals. The company will also be eligible to royalty payments from the sale of products from its partnership with Alexion.

Dr. Martin Mackay, EVP and Head of Global R&D at Alexion, said, “This agreement with X-Chem is an important element of Alexion’s strategy for addressing targets and developing first-in-class therapeutics for patients with life-threatening and ultra-rare disorders. We are very pleased to collaborate with X-Chem and gain access to their innovative platform.”

Dr. Richard W. Wagner, CEO of X-Chem, said, “X-Chem is excited to collaborate with Alexion, a leader in the treatment of patients with severe, rare diseases. This collaboration will enable Alexion to leverage the power of X-Chem’s discovery engine for pursuing challenging targets of clinical importance.”

Earlier this year, X-Chem inked a similar multi-target collaboration with Pfizer to develop a number of drugs targeted against orphan and inflammatory diseases. The company agreed to apply its drug discovery engine and library to help Pfizer determine new drug candidates for its clinical programs.

Likewise, Alexion signed into a similar strategic agreement with Moderna Therapeutics earlier this year to develop messenger RNA Therapeutics against rare diseases.