FORMA Therapeutics Holdings, LLC has reportedly entered a strategic collaboration agreement with Celgene Corp. to discover, develop and commercialize cancer therapeutics. The agreement will focus on drugs that can regulate protein homeostatis targets, and incentives will be provided to FORMA for research and early development of multiple drug candidates, while Celgene will have the right to exclusive licenses on their development and commercialization outside the United States.

According to FORMA Chief Scientific Officer Kenneth Blair, “protein homeostasis represents a new area of promising drug development after years of targeting kinase family proteins. This significant drug development collaboration has the potential to bring new drugs against novel targets and address unmet medical needs in the treatment of many cancers.” CEO Steven Tregay said, “This collaboration provides the long-term commitment and resources to enable FORMA to execute on its vision to build an integrated company bringing transformative cancer therapies to patients in need.”

Celgene Senior Vice President George Glumbeski echoed their enthusiasm and said of the collaboration that it “is consistent with our corporate R&D strategy, engaging in large collaborations with leading companies working in emerging areas of biology.” Protein homeostasis is apparently viewed as important not only in oncology, but also in neurodegenerative and other disorders. Discovering how it works is expected to “contribute to the understanding of diseases associated with excessive protein misfolding, aggregation and degradation.” See The Wall Street Journal, April 29, 2013.