Albany Molecular Research, Inc. Initiates Research Collaboration with Cubist Pharmaceuticals


Albany Molecular Research, Inc. (Nasdaq: AMRI) today announced a drug discovery collaboration with Cubist Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Nasdaq: CBST) through which the companies hope to identify novel anti-infective drug candidates.

Under the terms of the agreement, AMRI will use its proprietary combinatorial biocatalysis technology to create derivatives of lipopeptides, a novel class of anti-infectives. Cubist is currently developing Cidecin® (daptomycin for injection)--the first investigational antibiotic derived from this new class. AMRI will provide a series of compound derivatives to Cubist for biological screening to determine antibacterial potency.

If Cubist determines that initial feasibility experiments show promise, the research program will be expanded to include scale-up, lead optimization studies and analytical testing by AMRI for each lead molecule selected by Cubist. Under this agreement, AMRI would receive success fees from Cubist for the achievement of specific clinical and regulatory milestones, as well as royalties on net sales of any commercial products that result from the collaboration. In exchange, Cubist would acquire a worldwide, exclusive, royalty-bearing license to manufacture and sell any products resulting from the collaboration. Though specific financial details were not disclosed, the contract also includes fee-for-service provisions.

"We are pleased to work with Cubist on this collaborative research project," said AMRI Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Thomas E. D'Ambra, Ph.D. "We believe lipopeptides represent a promising new class of anti-infectives and have been impressed with Cubist's ability to efficiently negotiate the pre-clinical, clinical and regulatory pathway in Cidecin's development. We are eager to apply our combinatorial biocatalysis technology to this program. With this technology platform, we have the ability to create new compounds that could previously only be prepared through a lengthy and laborious chemical synthesis, if at all. We intend to leverage this technology fully in our collaboration with Cubist."

"We are also pleased to be working with AMRI on this research program," said Scott M. Rocklage, Ph.D., Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Cubist. "This collaboration complements our in-house lipopeptide program nicely. As a result of our development experience with Cidecin, we have been able to build quite a portfolio of daptomycin derivatives through traditional chemistry methods and more recently, through our directed biosynthesis technologies. While we are close to identifying what we would consider to be the first "next generation" daptomycin pre-clinical candidate from this program, we are excited at this opportunity to expand upon our lipopeptide franchise through access to AMRI's proprietary technologies."

Combinatorial biocatalysis is a unique drug discovery technology developed by AMRI that combines miniaturization, robotics and high-throughput techniques with biocatalysts such as enzymes and microorganisms. The technology is ideally suited for working with both complex natural products and synthetic drug leads. AMRI applies biocatalytic and other chemistries in an iterative fashion to produce libraries of derivatives from starting compounds.

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