Pfizer inks Licensing Agreement with GlycoMimetics

GlycoMimetics has inked a worldwide licensing agreement with pharmacutical giant Pfizer for an investigatory compound the company has been researching known as GMI-1070. This compound is indicated for the treatment of vaso-occlusive crisis, a condition commonly associated with sickle cell anemia. It is a pan selection antagonist in the Phase 2 stage of development which has received Fast Track and Orphan Drug status from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Pfizer is an American multinational pharmaceutical company based in New York. Some of its top productions are Viagra to treat erectile dysfunction, Lipitor used to lower blood cholesterol and Celebrex for anti-inflammation. GlycoMimetics, on the other hand, specializes in developing drugs that target rare diseases.

Under the terms of the licensing agreement, GlycoMimetics will retain responsibility for completing the Phase 2 trials under the oversight of Pfizer. Following completion of these ongoing trials, Pfizer will assume responsibility for ongoing development and marketing of the drug. The agreement is valued at $340 million for GlycoMimetics, a sum which includes a series of milestone payments along with an upfront payment and royalties.

The exclusive licensing agreement between GlycoMimetics and Pfizer will offer a new treatment option for vaso-occlusive crisis, a condition that lasts between five to six days and results in more than 75,000 cases of hospitalization in the US each year. During a vaso-occlusive crisis, the patient experiences tissue damage and pain and can suffer damage to multiple organs.

This new drug represents the first significant advance in the treatment of vaso-occlusive crisis related to sickle cell disease in the last 50 years. It works by inhibiting selecting interactions to head off the inflammation which leads to vaso-occlusive crises. Pre-clinical trials showed that GMI-1070 was effective in restoring blood flow to vessels in animals with sickle cell disease. This leading drug candidate is now being evaluated in human subjects with sickle cell disease.