Celgene Global Health, DNDi expand partnership to identify new drug candidates for NTDs

Celgene Global Health and DNDi expand collaboration to identify innovative therapies to benefit patients with neglected tropical diseases

Celgene Global Health (CGH), a division of Celgene Corporation (NASDAQ: CELG), and the Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative (DNDi) strengthen their collaboration with a four-year Research Collaboration Agreement to identify and optimize new drug candidates for the treatment of neglected tropical diseases (NTDs). Celgene will provide DNDi with new data and resources to accelerate clinical development of new treatments for patients with NTDs.

Since 2011, CGH and DNDi have collaborated on the screening of CGH's compound library for activity against NTDs. Today, they are expanding the collaboration towards the identification and optimization of potential therapeutic candidates for several of the world's most neglected diseases, including, among others, leishmaniasis, sleeping sickness, Chagas disease, river blindness, and elephantiasis.

The Research Collaboration Agreement focuses on the lead optimization stage of research, with CGH providing novel compounds of interest for the targeted diseases and using its target-identification and drug-discovery technology platforms to progress these compounds up to identification of clinical candidates. DNDi will take the lead on hit confirmation and coordinate and conduct hit expansion, hit-to-lead compound work, and subsequent lead optimization work.

"Working with DNDi is a reflection of the potential value that Celgene's Global Health program is creating to address diseases that afflict patients in many of the world's lowest-income settings. We are very pleased to be partnering with DNDi on this effort," said Dr Jerry Zeldis, Chief Executive Officer of Celgene Global Health and Chief Medical Officer of Celgene Corporation. "This collaboration accurately reflects Celgene's culture and values."

"We are very pleased to pursue our collaboration with CGH further, to identify new compounds for the treatment of neglected diseases,' says Dr Bernard P-coul, Executive Director of DNDi. 'The expertise Celgene has developed over the past years with its global health focus will be a great asset to drug discovery for neglected tropical diseases."

The agreement ensures that the result of the joint research will enable DNDi the freedom to operate within the scope of neglected communicable diseases and in all endemic countries without the need to pay royalties or license fees. Celgene has the right of first negotiation to become DNDi's clinical development, manufacture and distribution partner, with commitment to support broad and unencumbered access to patients in need in endemic countries.

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