NEW YORK – Schrödinger and Zai Lab on Wednesday announced an R&D collaboration focused on developing and commercializing drugs targeting DNA damage response.
Under the terms of their agreement, each company will be responsible for its own research program expenses, though Shanghai-based Zai Lab will make an undisclosed upfront payment to Schrödinger to help fund some of its research costs. Schrödinger, a computational drug discovery company headquartered in New York, will use its physics-based software platform to identify promising molecules.
Once the companies select a product candidate to advance in the clinic, Zai Lab will take charge of its global development, manufacturing, and commercialization, and Schrödinger will have co-development and co-commercialization rights in the US.
If Schrödinger chooses to co-fund the clinical development of the chosen product candidate, then it may also be eligible for 50 percent of the profits from commercialization of the drug in the US. The health tech company will also be able to receive approximately $338 million in preclinical, clinical, regulatory, and sales-based milestone payments, along with royalties and net sales outside of the US.
Alan Sandler, head of global development in oncology at Zai Lab, said in a statement that the new program will complement the company's existing research in the DNA damage pathway and may present the opportunity for advancing a combination treatment with its other products, like its PARP inhibitor niraparib (Zejula).
"Together, [Schrödinger and Zai Lab] will aim to accelerate and expand our focus on targeted DNA damage response inhibition, which is emerging as an important therapeutic strategy for a broad range of cancers," Karen Akinsanya, chief biomedical scientist and head of discovery R&D at Schrödinger, said in a statement. "Additionally, the structure of this collaboration provides us with the opportunity to gain development and commercial expertise and the potential to participate more significantly in the downstream value of the program."