Exelixis, Inc. (ticker: EXEL, exchange: NASDAQ Global Market (.O))
News Release -
Exelixis and Bristol-Myers Squibb Select Cancer Targets, Triggering MilestoneSOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, Calif., Aug 6, 2002 /PRNewswire-FirstCall via COMTEX/ --
Exelixis, Inc. (Nasdaq: EXEL) and Bristol-Myers Squibb Company (NYSE: BMY) have
successfully completed selection of a set of highly validated cancer targets,
triggering a significant milestone payment to Exelixis. These targets represent
diverse genes involved in cell growth and transformation, and several are
effectors or mediators of p53-induced apoptosis (programmed cell death).
Mutations in p53 have been implicated in more than half of human cancers,
including cancer of the breast, lung, colon, and liver. Both Exelixis and
Bristol-Myers Squibb plan to initiate small molecule cancer drug discovery
programs around their selected targets.
This work is part of a broad collaboration established between Exelixis and
Bristol-Myers Squibb in July 2001 to discover new generations of cancer
therapeutics that selectively destroy cancers that harbor defects in tumor
suppressor gene pathways. The initial target selection process took place at the
end of 2001.
"Our cancer collaboration with Bristol-Myers Squibb continues to advance rapidly
and to strengthen both companies' drug discovery programs," said George Scangos,
Ph.D., Exelixis president and chief executive officer. "Because of the high
level of validation of these targets, and the breadth and productivity of our
discovery platform, we have already advanced several important new targets
through high throughput screening and have identified promising compounds that
are moving into preclinical development. We believe that this collaboration has
high visibility within the Bristol-Myers Squibb research and development
organization, and we will continue to work closely together to identify
promising new targets that could lead to the next generation of safer, more
effective cancer therapeutics."
Under the terms of the cancer collaboration with Bristol-Myers Squibb, Exelixis
identifies and validates various molecular targets that trigger cell death in
cancer cells while leaving normal cells unharmed. Each company has the option to
obtain worldwide rights to equal numbers of validated targets arising from the
collaboration. As part of the agreement, Exelixis has received an exclusive
worldwide license to develop and commercialize a specific analogue of the
Bristol-Myers Squibb anticancer compound, DEAE Rebeccamycin, which has completed
Phase I safety trials and is currently in Phase II clinical trials with the
National Cancer Institute. Bristol-Myers Squibb made an equity investment in
Exelixis, paid an up-front licensing fee and continues to provide research
support to Exelixis.
Exelixis, Inc. is a leading genomics-based drug discovery company focused on
product development through its expertise in comparative genomics and model
system genetics. These technologies provide a rapid, efficient and cost
effective way to move from DNA sequence data to knowledge about the function of
genes and the proteins they encode. The company's technology is broadly
applicable to all life sciences industries including pharmaceutical, diagnostic,
agricultural biotechnology and animal health. Exelixis has partnerships with
Bayer CropScience, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Cytokinetics, Dow Agrosciences, Elan
Pharmaceuticals, Merck, Protein Design Labs, Schering- Plough Research Institute
and Scios and is building its internal development program in the area of
oncology. For more information, please visit the company's web site at
The forward looking statements contained in this press release involve risks and
uncertainties that may affect our research and development efforts, as more
fully discussed in the "Risk Factors" section of our filing with the U.S.
Securities and Exchange Commission. These risks and uncertainties include, but
are not limited to, Exelixis' ability to successfully develop compounds against
targets it selected under the collaboration, and Exelixis' ability to
successfully identify the novel targets of Bristol-Myers Squibb compound
researched through this collaboration, and for Bristol-Myers Squibb to develop
novel products, if any, based on our identification of these targets.
NOTE: Exelixis and the Exelixis logo are registered U.S. trademarks.
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SOURCE Exelixis, Inc.
CONTACT: Jane M. Green, Ph.D., VP, Corporate Communications of Exelixis,
Inc., +1-650-837-7579, or firstname.lastname@example.org
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