Press Releases & Events

FORMA Therapeutics And Celgene Corporation Announce A Novel And Expansive Multi-Year Strategic Alliance

April 1, 2014

Celgene expands FORMA’s discovery engine to deliver transformational medicines

FORMA controls projects through early clinical development and retains U.S. rights to all products

Celgene can gain an exclusive option to acquire FORMA

WATERTOWN, Mass. – April 1, 2014 – FORMA Therapeutics, an innovative R&D organization in pursuit of ground-breaking medicines in oncology and other therapeutic areas, today announced a second strategic collaboration and option agreement with Celgene Corporation, a leader in addressing high unmet medical needs.

This new collaboration will enable FORMA to extend its unique capabilities across broad areas of chemistry and biology. Upon signing the agreement, FORMA received an upfront cash payment of $225 million, and the parties entered into a collaboration with a term of 3 ½ years. In addition to the 3 ½ year collaboration, Celgene has the option to enter into up to two additional collaborations with terms of two years each for additional payments totaling approximately $375 million. Should each collaboration be successful and Celgene ultimately elect to enter all three collaborations, the combined duration of the three collaborations may extend for at least 7 ½ years. During the third collaboration term, Celgene will have the exclusive option to acquire FORMA, including the U.S. rights to all licensed programs, and worldwide rights to other wholly owned programs within FORMA at that time.

The scope and potential duration of this collaboration allows the parties to comprehensively evaluate emerging target families for which FORMA’s platform has exceptional strength. Under the terms of the agreement, Celgene has an option to license the rights to select current and future FORMA programs in exchange for undisclosed additional development and regulatory milestone payments. Celgene will assume responsibility for all global development activities and costs after completion of Phase 1 clinical trials. FORMA retains U.S. rights to all such licensed assets, including responsibility for manufacturing and commercialization. For products not licensed to Celgene, FORMA will maintain worldwide rights.

“Progress in our existing collaboration, coupled with emerging evidence of the power of FORMA’s platform to generate unique chemical matter across important emerging target families, leads us to expand the collaboration and enable a unique collaborative relationship — one that complements the significant strengths of our internal discovery and development organization,” said Thomas Daniel, M.D., President, Global Research and Early Development, Celgene Corporation.

“Independent from the previously signed partnership with Celgene whereby they secured ex-U.S. rights to a defined set of protein homeostasis targets, this second agreement expands across FORMA’s preclinical and future clinical development efforts, encompassing numerous protein target families and covering a broad range of therapeutic areas,” said Steven Tregay, Ph.D., President and CEO, FORMA Therapeutics. “Importantly, this new alliance enables FORMA to maintain autonomy in defining our research strategy and conducting discovery through early clinical development of our product portfolio. It aligns our company with Celgene’s global leadership in hematology and immune-mediated inflammatory diseases and a shared strategic directive to transform healthcare.”

Kenneth W. Bair, Ph.D., Chief Scientific Officer and Head of Research and Development, FORMA Therapeutics, added, “It is extremely rewarding to have our team recognized for their creativity and productivity and to receive substantial funding. Most of all, we look forward to expanding our relationship with Celgene, which is based on a deep and open scientific interchange.”

“This second collaboration with FORMA is based upon a very strategic relationship and complete alignment between FORMA’s and Celgene’s R&D efforts. This expansive collaboration will allow FORMA’s powerful drug discovery engine to probe multiple emerging areas of biology in the pursuit of step-ahead therapies for future patients,” stated George Golumbeski, Ph.D., Senior Vice President for Business Development, Celgene Corporation. “Both organizations take pride in developing creative alliances that fully enable the science to succeed, and this initiative is truly reflective of that concept.”

“The expansion of FORMA’s relationship with Celgene demonstrates a mutual belief in the potential of FORMA’s drug discovery programs to provide meaningful clinical outcomes for patients across a broad variety of diseases,” noted Rob Sarisky, Ph.D., Chief Business Officer, FORMA Therapeutics. “This substantial collaboration affords us an opportunity to rapidly accelerate FORMA’s innovations to clinical proof of relevance within our capital-efficient business structure.”


FORMA Therapeutics’ scientists are passionate about discovering and developing medicines that will make a difference in oncology and other genetically driven therapeutic areas. The company’s drug discovery engine drives screening and structure-based approaches across broad families of targets involved in tumor metabolism, epigenetics, protein homeostasis and protein-protein interactions. Deep biological insight across targets is combined with the company’s chemistry expertise and integrated with a world class network of academic investigators, clinical experts and corporate partners to rapidly direct the creation of high quality, innovative drug candidates.

FORMA is headquartered in Watertown, MA near the epicenter of the Cambridge Life Sciences cluster, with additional chemistry operations in Branford, CT.

About Netherlands Cancer Institute

The Netherlands Cancer Institute was established over a hundred years ago on October 10, 1913. The founders, Rotgans, professor of Surgery, De Bussy, publisher, and De Vries, professor of Pathology, wanted to create a cancer institute ‘where patients suffering from malignant growths could be treated adequately and where cancer and related diseases could be studied’. They bought a house on one of the canals in Amsterdam and named it the ‘Antoni van Leeuwenhoek Huis’, after the famous Dutch microscopist. The clinic had room for 17 patients, while the laboratory could accommodate 8 to 10 scientists.

Nowadays, The Netherlands Cancer Institute accommodates approximately 650 scientists and scientific support personnel. The NKI has been accredited the status of Comprehensive Cancer Center by the OECI and holds a position at the international forefront of cancer research. The Antoni van Leeuwenhoek Hospital has 53 medical specialists, 180 beds, an out-patients clinic that receives over 30,000 patients each year, 5 operating theaters and 9 irradiation units. It is the only dedicated cancer center in The Netherlands and maintains an important role as a national and international center of scientific and clinical expertise, development and training.

For FORMA Therapeutics
MacDougall Biomedical Communication
Kari Watson, +1 781-235-3060
Charles Liles, +1 781-235-3060