Forma Therapeutics Announces $200 mn Collaboration Deal with Novartis

January 13, 2009 by
Filed under: Americas, Biotech, Capital Markets, Europe, Finance, JVs, M&A, Pharma 

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. Jan 12, 2009 — FORMA Therapeutics announced today that it has entered into a license and option agreement through the Novartis Option Fund. Under the terms of the agreement, FORMA will leverage its transformative biology and chemistry platform to develop inhibitors for an undisclosed protein-protein interaction target in the field of oncology. The agreement includes an upfront fee and potential milestones totaling over $200 million as well as royalties.

“Protein-protein interactions represent important target opportunities in the field of oncology drug discovery, but have been highly elusive to date,” stated Reinhard Ambros, Head of the Novartis Venture Funds. “Novartis is very excited to be collaborating with FORMA to access their biology and chemistry expertise and powerful discovery tools to unlock this challenging target class.”

“Working collaboratively with Novartis on these targets provides us with the opportunity to fully leverage our integrated drug discovery platform to accelerate the advancement of oncology programs into clinical development,” said Steven Tregay, CEO of FORMA. “We believe that this collaboration provides important validation for FORMA’s unique approach to drug discovery for challenging targets.”

About FORMA’s Integrated Drug Discovery Platform

FORMA is uniquely positioned through its unprecedented combination of technological capabilities and oncology expertise to access such novel target space and to develop a new generation of breakthrough oncology drugs. Some of the key features of FORMA’s discovery capabilities include:

* Versatile cell-based screening platform which allows the screening of discrete targets in cells and quantitative genome/proteome-wide profiling and target identification.
* Accessing new chemical space through structure guided drug discovery (SGDD) approaches leveraging proprietary computational and structural biology combined with our integrated chemistry platform which incorporates Diversity Orientated Synthesis (DOS). DOS combines the high stereochemical and structural diversity found in natural products with traditional combinatorial chemistry techniques. This approach has been proven to work for challenging targets and will allow the rapid optimization of lead therapeutic candidates.

FORMA Therapeutics is integrating transformative biology and chemistry to unlock the best targets and pathways that genomics medicine has revealed. FORMA builds on the vision of its academic founders: Stuart Schreiber, Todd Golub, Michael Foley, each of the Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT and leverages its innovative drug discovery platform to address challenging targets and develop a robust internal pipeline of targeted breakthrough oncology drugs. FORMA is a global company headquartered in Cambridge, MA with additional research operations in Connecticut, Singapore and Beijing.

The Novartis Option Fund (NOF) is a $200 million fund which is part of the Novartis Venture Funds (NVF), which were established in 1996 and currently manage over $550 million in committed capital and is invested in more then 50 private companies. The objective of the $200 million Novartis Option Fund is to seed innovative companies through financing their initial investment. The investment is coupled with an option to a specific therapeutic program early validation for the start-up company’s technology/programs by large Pharma. The NVF team of nine investment professionals located in Basel, Switzerland and Cambridge, MA brings together extensive experience in pharmaceutical R&D and venture capital. For more information, visit


One Comment on Forma Therapeutics Announces $200 mn Collaboration Deal with Novartis

    […] This press release has more details.  […]

Share Your Message or Comments