DURHAM – Ribometrix, a Durham company specializing in RNA-based therapeutics, will partner with Vertex Pharmaceuticals of Boston to discover and develop drug candidates for serious diseases in a deal that could ultimately be worth more than $700 million to Ribometrix.
Under the terms of the agreement, Vertex will pay Ribometrix about $20 million upfront, which includes an equity investment in the company. Ribometrix is eligible to receive more than $700 million in total potential payments if specified research, development, regulatory and commercial milestones are met. In addition, Vertex will pay tiered royalties on future net global sales on any products that result from the collaboration.
“As a company founded on groundbreaking research and expertise in RNA structural biology, we have seen firsthand how new technologies are dramatically expanding the druggability of RNA and the potential for transforming the treatment of previously intractable diseases,” said Michael Solomon, chief executive officer of Ribometrix. “Vertex is a leader in creating transformative medicines through serial innovation, and we are proud to partner with them to rapidly and effectively develop a core discovery platform of small-molecule therapeutics targeting RNA.”