Vividion Lands $101M from Celgene to Develop Protein-Targeting Drugs

Xconomy San Diego — 

Vividion Therapeutics is partnering with Celgene to develop new drugs that modulate protein levels as a way of treating disease.

Celgene (NASDAQ: CELG) will pay San Diego-based Vividion $101 million up front, which includes an equity investment. The partnership will last four years, but Celgene, based in Summit, NJ, has the option to pay more to extend it for another two years.

The companies say the goal of the partnership is to develop small molecule drugs for cancer, inflammatory, and neurodegenerative conditions. The deal calls for Vividion to lead initial discovery efforts, and then identify which drug programs to pursue together. Celgene has the right to pick up its option on those programs when each one is ready to start clinical trials. For the first one, Celgene will receive exclusive worldwide rights, according to the deal. Vividion would receive royalties on sales, as well as milestone payments. For the other drugs, Celgene and Vividion will split development costs, and if commercialized, profits.

Vividion’s leadership is well acquainted with Celgene. The startup’s executive chairman is Tom Daniel (pictured), Celgene’s former president of research and early development. Vividion launched last year backed by $50 million in funding. Here’s more about Vividion’s approach to discovering and developing new drugs.