ArQule and Daiichi-Sankyo in strategic partnership to develop novel anti-cancer compounds

24 November 2008

ArQule, Inc. (NASDAQ: ARQL) and Daiichi Sankyo Co., Ltd. (TSE: 4568) have announced they have entered into a strategic relationship for the development and discovery of novel oncology therapeutics.

ArQule and Daiichi Sankyo will co-develop ARQ 197, a proprietary, orally administered, small molecule inhibitor of the c-Met receptor tyrosine kinase, to treat cancer. In addition, ArQule and Daiichi Sankyo will advance the application of ArQule’s kinase inhibitor discovery platform (AKIP) to develop a new generation of highly selective, anti-cancer kinase inhibitors intended to ensure a long-term presence in this therapeutic category. On a combined basis, the two deals include $75 million in cash upfront to ArQule from Daiichi Sankyo.

“We are delighted to welcome Daiichi Sankyo as a partner in our shared quest to bring innovative cancer therapeutics to patients and their physicians,” said Paolo Pucci, chief executive officer of ArQule. “With this announcement, we complete the ARQ 197 partnership process and set the stage to bring the ARQ 197 development program to the next level. We are also very pleased to broaden this relationship by welcoming Daiichi Sankyo as our first partner for ArQule’s AKIP platform.

“For ArQule, this strategic relationship will achieve several product development, scientific and financial objectives,” said Mr. Pucci. “First, it will allow us to optimize a clinical program with ARQ 197 that elicits the full therapeutic potential of this highly selective c-Met inhibitor. Second, it supports and further validates the application of our proprietary technology platform to the discovery of a new generation of selective inhibitors of kinases implicated in cancer. Finally, it provides meaningful, non-dilutive infusions of cash, as well as an opportunity for cost sharing.”

“Daiichi Sankyo looks forward to being able to collaborate with ArQule to realize differentiated and innovative approaches in the treatment of these devastating diseases,” said Takashi Shoda, president and chief executive officer of Daiichi Sankyo Co., Ltd. “This strategic partnership is the next important milestone for Daiichi Sankyo to solidify a strong and viable pipeline in oncology.”

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