Cytokinetics, Inc. (Nasdaq: CYTK, “Cytokinetics”) and Astellas Pharma Inc. (TSE: 4503, “Astellas”) announced that Cytokinetics and Astellas have expanded their collaboration in skeletal muscle activators to include amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Through this expansion, Cytokinetics has granted Astellas an option right for the development and commercialization of tirasemtiv, an investigational skeletal muscle activator. The companies have also agreed to amend their collaboration agreement to enable the development of CK-2127107 for the potential treatment of ALS and to extend their joint research focused on the discovery of additional next-generation skeletal muscle activators through 2017.
“We are pleased to further expand our productive and successful collaboration with Astellas in the area of skeletal muscle activators and to align our interests with regard to tirasemtiv and ALS,” said Robert I. Blum, Cytokinetics’ President and Chief Executive Officer. “Advancing tirasemtiv and CK-2127107 for the potential treatment of ALS reinforces our shared commitment to deliver on the promise of fast skeletal troponin activation for people living with ALS who are fighting this dreadful disease.”
“The expansion of our collaboration illustrates Astellas’ commitment to muscle disease as an important and focused therapeutic area for research as announced in our strategic plan,” said Yoshihiko Hatanaka, Astellas’ President and Chief Executive Officer. “ALS is a disease with significant unmet needs worldwide, and we are excited to expand our collaboration with Cytokinetics to include promising drug candidates in ALS which reflect our shared interests in muscle biology.”