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Amgen, Arrakis Collaborate To Discover RNA Degrader Small Molecule Therapeutics

Amgen (AMGN) said that it has reached a research collaboration with Arrakis Therapeutics to focus on the discovery and development of RNA degrader therapeutics against a range of difficult-to-drug targets in multiple therapeutic areas.

The new class of "targeted RNA degraders" consists of small molecule drugs that selectively destroy RNAs encoding disease-causing proteins by inducing their proximity to nucleases.

As per the terms of the deal, Arrakis will lead research activities for the identification of RNA-targeted small molecule (rSM) binders against a broad set of targets nominated by Amgen.

The companies will collaboratively design and functionalize these molecules to specifically degrade targeted RNAs, and Amgen will lead further preclinical and clinical development activities.

Amgen will pay $75 million upfront to Arrakis for five initial programs and will have the option to nominate additional programs.

For each program, Arrakis will be eligible for additional payments from Amgen for preclinical, clinical, regulatory and sales milestones, and royalties up to low double digits.

Arrakis could potentially receive several billion dollars in future payments if all milestones are met and future program options are exercised.

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