US company PPD is taking a stake in Chemokine Therapeutics, a Canadian- and US-based biotechnology company, to continue development of a proprietary peptide derived from a particular chemokine that may make the peptide useful as a blood recovery therapeutic agent.
In connection with its investment, Chemokine granted PPD an exclusive option to license the peptide following completion of Phase I studies. Chemokine also granted PPD the right to first negotiate a license to other Chemokine compounds.
"Our investment in and license with Chemokine advances our compound partnering strategy," said Fred Eshelman, chief executive officer of PPD. "With various compounds at different stages of development in our pipeline, we further our potential for ongoing enhanced returns as well as generate drugs for risk-sharing partnerships."
Chemokines are a group of cellular proteins that stimulate movement and coordinate cell-to-cell communication among different cell types in the body. The presence of a chemokine in a tissue can attract needed cells to that tissue.
PPD writes today that in early studies, the Chemokine peptide showed potential as a blood recovery product due to its ability to attract immature cells from the bone marrow to tissue locations at which the cells can mature into neutrophils and platelets, both of which are types of white blood cells. The peptide, claims PPD, could potentially have broad therapeutic application in any situation in which a patient is immunocompromised.
Figures relating to the equity investment made by PPD were not disclosed.