Anacor inks research pact with Gates Foundation to discover drug candidates for filarial worm diseases

Palo Alto, CaliforniaWednesday, April 10, 2013, 14:00 Hrs  [IST]

Anacor Pharmaceuticals has signed a research agreement with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (the Gates Foundation) to discover drug candidates intended to treat two filarial worm diseases (onchocerciasis, or river blindness, and lymphatic filariasis, commonly known as elephantiasis) and tuberculosis (TB). Under the agreement, Gates Foundation will pay Anacor $17.7 million as well as invest $5 million in Anacor common stock.

Additionally, Anacor will create an expanded library of boron compounds to screen for additional potential drug candidates to treat neglected diseases and will provide access to the expanded library compounds for neglected disease research to the Gates Foundation, and others, including academic, governmental and other non-profit institutions or equivalent entities.

"We are excited to continue our research in neglected diseases through this landmark research agreement with the Gates Foundation, which is known for its dedication to solving global health issues," said David Perry, Anacor's chief executive officer. "Anacor is committed to applying our chemistry to find new treatments for neglected diseases, and it is with the support of partners like the Gates Foundation that we can fulfill that commitment."

"Anacor's boron chemistry platform can help to discover and develop drug candidates that address significant unmet needs for patients suffering from neglected diseases," said Trevor Mundel, president of Global Health, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. "We are pleased to fund this research collaboration as well as invest in Anacor to help improve the lives of the millions of people in developing countries who are impacted by these diseases."

Anacor is a biopharmaceutical company focused on discovering, developing and commercializing novel small-molecule therapeutics derived from its boron chemistry platform.