Lycera and Celgene announced in June 2015 a global strategic collaboration to advance Lycera’s innovative pipeline, including Lycera’s first-in-class RORγ agonists for cancer immunotherapy, and clinical-stage candidate, LYC-30937, being studied for inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).
The global strategic collaboration is focused on Lycera’s novel oral immune modulatory compounds which are highly complementary to Celgene’s focus. Lycera believes that the current programs have the potential to significantly transform approaches for the treatment of cancer and immune mediated diseases.
Under the terms of the agreement, Lycera received an $82.5 million upfront cash payment. The upfront payment included an exclusive option for Celgene to license Lycera’s portfolio of ex vivo RORγ agonist compounds. As part of the strategic agreement, Celgene obtains the exclusive right to acquire Lycera upon conclusion of the option period or achievement by Lycera of pre-specified clinical milestones. During the option period, Lycera will retain full control of its research and development programs. Following the exercise of the option to acquire Lycera, shareholders will be also eligible to receive future success-based milestones.
In December 2015, Celgene exercised the ex vivo RORγ agonist license. Under the terms of the ex vivo license agreement, Lycera received a $17.5 million upfront cash payment and has the potential to receive an additional near-term milestone payment of $5 million.
In 2017, Lycera and Celgene also entered into a license agreement for Lycera’s RORγ Antagonist Program.
Lycera Corp. was founded by Gary Glick, PhD, Werner E. Bachman Professor of Chemistry at the University of Michigan based on technology developed in Dr. Glick’s laboratory and in-licensed from the University of Michigan. The program focuses on ATPase modulators, which Lycera has advanced to a clinical stage.