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Pfizer Ends Sickle Cell Drug Development Deal with Syros

July 25, 2023

Rare Daily Staff

Pfizer has ended a license and collaboration agreement with Syros Pharmaceuticals for the development and commercialization of novel therapies for sickle cell disease and beta thalassemia, two rare blood disorders.

In an SEC disclosure, Syros said Pfizer informed the company about its decision on July 18. The effective date of the termination is October 16, 2023.

Pfizer inherited the collaboration agreement through its acquisition of Global Blood Therapeutics (GBT) last year. The original agreement, signed in December 2019 by and between the Syros and GBT, related to the discovery, development, and commercialization of novel therapies for sickle cell disease and beta thalassemia.

Under the terms of the original agreement, Syros granted GBT an option to obtain an exclusive, worldwide license, with the right to sublicense, under relevant intellectual property rights and know-how of the company arising from the collaboration to develop, manufacture and commercialize any compounds or products resulting from the collaboration. This option will terminate simultaneously with the effective date of termination of the agreement.

In addition, the agreement required GBT to reimburse the Syros for full-time employee and out-of-pocket costs and expenses incurred by Syros in accordance with the agreed upon research budget through the effective date of termination.

GBT previously made an upfront payment of $20 million to Syros in January 2020 in connection with entering into the collaboration. Syros was eligible to receive up to $315 million in option exercise, development, regulatory, commercialization and sales-based milestones per product candidate and product resulting from the collaboration, along with tiered mid-to-high single digit royalties as percentages of calendar year net sales on any licensed product.

Syros said it now intends to seek to identify a new out-licensing partner for its sickle cell disease program.

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