News Feature | May 1, 2014

University of Michigan Startup Signs Agreement With Medivation

By Marcus Johnson

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OncoFusion Therapeutics, a pharmaceutical company founded at the University of Michigan, has entered into a licensing agreement with Medivation for particular compounds targeting the bromodomain and extra-terminal (BET) proteins for potential future use in drug treatments and therapies.

Per the agreement, Medivation will get exclusive global rights to develop and commercialize these compounds. It will also have access to OncoFusion’s library of small molecule BET bromodomain compounds to push forward into drug development. OncoFusion will be receiving upfront payments as well as future milestone payments for reaching certain undisclosed milestones in drug production or sales.

Ari Chinnaiyan, one of the company’s co-founders, said that the agreement will help to quicken the pace of research. “This agreement provides us with the opportunity to accelerate research and development exploring the role of BET bromodomain proteins in oncology,” said Chinnaiyan. Co-founder, Shaomeng Wang, was also quoted in a Medivation press release, stating that Medivation would help the company achieve its goals of creating drugs that are more personalized to individual patients’ needs.

OncoFusion was founded in 2012 by professors Arul Chinnaiyan and Shaomeng Wang, who both work at the University of Michigan. The company plans to focus on the various gene fusions that affect many traditional cancers across the globe, such as breast, colon, prostate, and lung cancers.

David Hung, president and CEO of Medivation, says BET bromodomain proteins are a relevant new class of pharmaceutical targets that could potentially be used in a variety of drug treatments and therapies. “We intend to expand our footprint in cancer by developing improved next generation therapies based upon cutting edge technologies like the one we have licensed from OncoFusion,” said Hung.

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