By Saabira Chaudhuri
Array BioPharma Inc. (ARRY) has reached a $8.5 million milestone in its agreement with Amgen Inc. (AMGN) to develop a drug to treat diabetes.
Array--a biopharmaceutical company focused on developing small-molecule drugs to treat patients afflicted with cancer and inflammatory diseases--entered the agreement, which is for worldwide development of small-molecule glucokinase activators, including a drug called AMG 151, with Amgen in December 2009.
Under the terms, Amgen paid an up front fee of $60 million. Array is entitled to receive up to about $658 million in additional aggregate milestone payments if all clinical and commercialization milestones specified in the agreement for AMG 151 and at least one backup compound are achieved. Array will also receive royalties on sales of any approved drugs developed under the agreement.
Glucokinase is the enzyme that acts as a glucose sensor in the pancreas and liver. The activation of glucokinase lowers glucose levels by enhancing the ability of the pancreas to sense glucose, which leads to increased insulin production. It also increases the update of blood glucose by the liver.
On Thursday, Array said AMG 151 has previously been found effective in controlling blood glucose. It said the milestone was achieved after Amgen reached a pre-defined patient enrollment level in a Phase 2 clinical trial.
In April, Array said its loss for the fiscal third quarter had narrowed on higher revenue coupled with lower operating expenses.
Shares were up 2.76% in recent premarket trading to $4.10. The stock is up 61% in the past 12 months.
Write to Saabira Chaudhuri at firstname.lastname@example.org
Subscribe to WSJ: http://online.wsj.com?mod=djnwires
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
July 19, 2012 09:18 ET (13:18 GMT)
Copyright (c) 2012 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.