As explained in Xconomy, Acceleron has been able to successfully shift its source of funding from venture capital firms to partnerships with pharma companies - particularly since 2008. The firm has two major deals in particular providing pharm funding and continues to seek other strategic partners.
Acceleron earlier this month announced a deal with Shire that called for $45 M upfront plus royalties and milestones that could total up to $498 M. The deal for ACE-031 is for the treatment of Duchenne's Muscular Dystrophy (DMD). ACE-031 stimulates muscle growth and mass. Currenlty, there is no treatment for DMD. Acceleron retains marketing rights in the US and will receive royalties in the rest of the world.
Previously, Acceleron had struck a deal with Celgene for ACE-011 for the treatment of anemia in cancers. ACE-011 blocks the cell signal that destroys RBCs and bone tissue - by giving ACE-011 to cancer patients it is hoped to reverse this effect and thereby block the development of anemia. The Celegen deal also required a $45 M upfront payment with milestone and royalties that could reach $510 M.
Acceleron is also seeking strategic partners for its ACE-041 drug that controls tissue growth in blood vessels. ACE-041 is envisioned to treat cancers by blocked blood vessel supply to tumors. By following this strategy, Acceleron has gone from raising $100 M in VC funds to now adding another $140 M through its pharma partnerships.
Posted by Bruce Lehr September 28th 2010.