Biotech Celgene inks $60M deal with newcomer Skyhawk to develop RNA drugs for ALS, Huntington’s
by Conor Hale | Fierce Biotech
Under the deal, Celgene received the exclusive option to license up to five drug candidates born out of Skyhawk’s development platform, to help correct RNA exon skipping in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Huntington’s disease and other disorders. The $60 million upfront payment could be paired with future license fees, milestones and royalties.
In addition, the Waltham, Massachusetts-based Skyhawk closed a new funding round of common stock, bringing in another $40 million. The biotech hopes the combined $100 million will help push its first oncology drug to the clinic, separately from the Celgene collaboration, in 2019.
That money joins $8 million in seed funding raised earlier this year, and included the return of investors Alexandria Venture Investments and the Duke of Bedford. Other investors this round included Greatpoint Ventures, ShangPharma and Agent Capital, as well as Celgene, plus family investors including Tim Disney, the great-nephew of Walt Disney.