CAMBRIDGE, Mass.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Archemix Corp., a biotechnology company focused on discovering, developing and commercializing aptamer therapeutics, announced today that it will receive a $1 million milestone payment from its collaborator Nuvelo, Inc. The milestone payment has been triggered by Nuvelo’s enrollment of the first volunteer in a Phase 1 study of NU172, a thrombin-inhibiting aptamer. The Phase 1 study is being conducted at a single center with approximately 30 healthy male volunteers and is designed to determine the safety, tolerability and pharmacokinetics of escalating doses of NU172.
NU172 is an aptamer designed to directly inhibit thrombin’s ability to stimulate blood clot formation in the setting of medical procedures where human blood is exposed to foreign materials. Specifically, NU172 is being studied for use as a potential short-acting anticoagulant during procedures such as coronary artery bypass graft surgery and percutaneous interventions.
“We are pleased that Nuvelo has advanced NU172 into clinical trials,” commented Dr. Errol De Souza, President and Chief Executive Officer of Archemix. “NU172 demonstrates the productivity of our aptamer discovery efforts and we look forward to its clinical development.”
Nuvelo is solely responsible for further development and commercialization of NU172. However, Archemix is eligible to receive additional milestone payments if the program advances further in clinical trials and will also receive royalties on any sales of NU172. Archemix also retains the option to share in a specified percentage of the profits from any sales of NU172 in exchange for paying an equal percentage of its development and commercialization costs and in lieu of being eligible to receive milestone payments and royalties with respect to NU172.
Aptamers are synthetically-derived oligonucleotides, or short nucleic acid sequences, that bind to protein targets with high affinity and specificity and can be designed to have a specified duration of action. Aptamers represent an emerging class of potential therapeutic agents that Archemix believes may have broad application to treat a variety of human diseases.
Archemix is a biotechnology company focused on discovering, developing and commercializing aptamer therapeutics. Using Archemix’s proprietary processes for discovering aptamers, which are protected by its patent portfolio, Archemix is developing aptamer product candidates for cardiovascular and hematological diseases and cancer. In addition, Archemix has licensed its intellectual property to third parties to develop their own aptamer product candidates. To date, Archemix has licensed its intellectual property to discover and develop aptamer product candidates to nine biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies, including Pfizer, Merck Serono, Nuvelo, Takeda Pharmaceuticals and Elan Pharma.