X-Chem and Roche agree drug discovery collaboration

Roche will pay undisclosed upfront and research payments

US biotechnology firm X-Chem has signed a multi-year agreement with Roche to apply its proprietary platform to the rapid discovery of drug candidates against several of Roche's therapeutic targets.

As part of the agreement, Roche will pay X-Chem, based in Cambridge, MA, upfront and research payments, success-based discovery milestones and technology access fees. The Swiss pharmaceutical firm will have the right to develop and commercialise any product arising from the collaboration, and X-Chem will receive payments based on worldwide sales of the therapeutic products developed by Roche. Financial terms were not disclosed.

X-Chem's initial interest is to screen novel targets in stem cell biology using the recently introduced BIND Scanner instrument developed and marketed by SRU Biosystems, a label-free, microplate-based system for profiling compounds that affect stem cell growth, health, and differentiation.