SALT LAKE CITY, Mar 12, 2002
Myriad Genetics, Inc., announced today that it has formed a drug discovery collaboration with Abbott Laboratories to identify novel genes and drug targets for the diagnosis and treatment of depression. The collaboration will merge Myriad's integrated drug target identification and validation technologies with Abbott's drug and diagnostic discovery and development expertise. The agreement provides Abbott with license rights and specifies an upfront payment to Myriad, plus guaranteed research funding and potential milestones totaling approximately $34 million plus royalties.
"We are very pleased to be using our advanced biopharmaceutical technologies in collaboration with Abbott in our effort to discover the next generation of drugs to treat depression," said Peter Meldrum, President and Chief Executive Officer of Myriad Genetics, Inc. "The integration of drug target discovery with disease pathway discovery and functional validation provides Myriad with the ability to deliver to Abbott novel therapeutic targets with high potential to result in the safe and effective drugs that are needed to treat this important human disease."
The collaboration will feature Myriad's suite of gene and drug target discovery technologies. These technologies cover the entire scope of novel drug target identification and validation including disease-associated-gene discovery, protein pathway elucidation, pharmacogenomic analysis and biological target validation.
The discovery of disease-causing genes provides an essential starting point for drug discovery, which is greatly expanded through the discovery of protein disease pathways. Using ProNet(R), Myriad's high-throughput protein interaction technology, the Company intends to identify critical protein interactions along the depression pathway. Proteins discovered in the depression pathway offer excellent opportunities as drug targets, while providing insight into the cause and possible treatment of the disease. The collaboration will focus on functional validation of these drug targets using biological analysis with innovative technologies for evaluating the importance of a particular protein in the cause of the disease. The combined use of Myriad's and Abbott's technologies provides a fast and effective means of drug target evaluation. Abbott's extensive experience in drug discovery and development should then enable rapid advancement of any product identified through the collaboration into clinical development.
"This collaboration links the complementary strengths of Myriad's gene and target discovery technologies with Abbott's drug discovery, development and commercialization expertise. Abbott is excited about the potential for this collaboration to accelerate the discovery of breakthrough therapeutic and diagnostic products to treat depression," said Jim Sullivan, Ph.D., divisional Vice President, Neuroscience Discovery. "Abbott has a long-term strategic commitment to this area."