Celera Genomics Announces the Sale of Its Cathepsin S Inhibitor Program to Schering AG; Transaction Completes Celera's Planned Exit from Small Molecule Development
Celera's cathepsin S inhibitor, CRA-028129, entered a Phase I trial in September 2005 in a single center study being conducted at the Christchurch Clinical Studies Trust (CSST) in Christchurch, New Zealand.
“Multiple Sclerosis will be the first indication we will target with this program focusing on our continuing commitment to develop innovative treatments for MS. This will add to our existing Phase III program exploring high dose interferon beta-1b and our Phase II program for alemtuzumab in MS.”
"We are excited by the potential that this cathepsin S inhibitor program has for the treatment of autoimmune diseases and how it will complement our pipeline," said Darlene Jody, MD, Head of Specialized Therapeutics Global Business Unit at Schering Group. "Multiple Sclerosis will be the first indication we will target with this program focusing on our continuing commitment to develop innovative treatments for MS. This will add to our existing Phase III program exploring high dose interferon beta-1b and our Phase II program for alemtuzumab in MS."
"We're pleased with this transaction as it combines Schering AG's expertise in the field of autoimmune diseases with the encouraging data from our cathepsin S inhibitor program thus far," said Kathy Ordonez, President of Celera Genomics. "This is a significant step for us as it completes our planned exit from small molecule development, allowing us to now focus our resources on our core business of molecular diagnostics and proteomics discovery."
In an unrelated transaction, Celera also announced today that it has sold an undisclosed early stage preclinical small molecule program to an undisclosed venture capital investor. The financial terms of the transaction for Celera include an upfront cash payment of $250,000, and an equity stake of five percent in a new company formed to move this program forward. If this program meets certain developmental stage milestone events and results in the approval of a drug, it may generate potential future milestone payments to Celera of up to $15 million. Additionally, Celera will be entitled to single digit percentage royalty payments on annual sales of any drugs commercialized from this program.
About Celera Genomics and Applera Corporation
Applera Corporation consists of two operating groups. The Celera Genomics Group uses proprietary genomics and proteomics discovery platforms to develop molecular diagnostic products and to identify and validate novel drug targets. Celera maintains a strategic alliance in molecular diagnostics with Abbott. In addition, Celera is developing new molecular diagnostic and pharmacogenomic assays outside of its alliance with Abbott. Therapeutic antibodies against Celera-discovered drug targets are being advanced through strategic partnerships. The Applied Biosystems Group serves the life science industry and research community by developing and marketing instrument-based systems, consumables, software, and services. Customers use these tools to analyze nucleic acids (DNA and RNA), small molecules, and proteins to make scientific discoveries and develop new pharmaceuticals. Applied Biosystems' products also serve the needs of some markets outside of life science research, which we refer to as "applied markets," such as the fields of: human identity testing (forensic and paternity testing); biosecurity, which refers to products needed in response to the threat of biological terrorism and other malicious, accidental, and natural biological dangers; and quality and safety testing, for example in food and the environment. Applied Biosystems is headquartered in Foster City, CA, and reported sales of nearly $1.8 billion during fiscal 2005. Information about Applera Corporation, including reports and other information filed by the company with the Securities and Exchange Commission, is available at http://www.applera.com, or by telephoning 800.762.6923. Information about Celera Genomics is available at http://www.celera.com.
Certain statements in this press release are forward-looking. These may be identified by the use of forward-looking words or phrases such as "believe," "expect," "intend," and "should," among others. These forward-looking statements are based on Applera Corporation's current expectations. The Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 provides a "safe harbor" for such forward-looking statements. In order to comply with the terms of the safe harbor, Applera Corporation notes that a variety of factors could cause actual results and experience to differ materially from the anticipated results or other expectations expressed in such forward-looking statements. These risks and uncertainties include but are not limited to: (1) uncertainty that the acquirors will be able to develop and commercialize products based on the acquired program and product candidates; (2) uncertainty that any products developed by the acquirors from the acquired programs and product candidates will be accepted and adopted by the market, including the risk that these products will not be competitive with products offered by other companies, or that users will not be entitled to receive adequate reimbursement for these products from third party payors such as private insurance companies and government insurance plans; (3) uncertainty that Celera Genomics will receive milestone and royalty payments in the event that these programs or product candidates do not proceed successfully; and (4) other factors that might be described from time to time in Applera Corporation's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. All information in this press release is as of the date of the release, and Applera does not undertake any duty to update this information, including any forward-looking statements, unless required by law.
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