AVI BioPharma and Eleos entered into a cross-license agreement for the development of antisense drugs targeting p53. AVI is granting Eleos an exclusive license to its Neugene® third-generation antisense chemistry to treat cancer with p53-related drugs. "AVI's proprietary antisense chemistry has pharmaceutically important properties that are complementary to our existing technology," comments Larry J. Smith, Ph.D., CEO of Eleos. "Having access to Neugene chemistry expands Eleos' ability to develop commercial p53 cancer products with extended capabilities."
In return, Eleos is granting AVI an exclusive license to its patents for treatment of most viral diseases with drugs that target p53. "This agreement gives AVI access to an important human target that may help us develop even better antiviral therapies," remarks Denis R. Burger, Ph.D., CEO of AVI. "Targeting both the virus itself and host cell factors that contribute to pathogenesis may be the ultimate strategy for treating certain viral diseases."
Each company will make milestone payments and royalty payments to the other on development and sales of products that utilize technology licensed under the agreement. In addition, Eleos is making an upfront payment of $500,000 to AVI.
In addition, the companies are sharing rights in other medical fields where targeting p53 may be therapeutically useful.