Frontier IP Group PLC (LON:FIPP) shares were given a boost in mid-morning on Thursday after Exscientia, an artificial intelligence (AI)-driven drug discovery firm in which it has a 3.32% stake, signed a three-year deal with US biotech giant Celgene Corp (NASDAQ:CELG).
The IP commercialisation group said the collaboration, which will focus on oncology and autoimmunity, included an initial upfront payment of US$25mln for Exscientia, in addition to “substantial milestones” and tiered royalties on net sales of any product developed.
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New Jersey-based Celgene focuses on medicines for cancer and inflammatory diseases and has a market cap of around US$62.6bn.
Frontier IP’s chief executive Neil Crabb said the agreement with Celgene joined “an impressive list of collaboration agreements struck by Exscientia”, which include deals with Swiss healthcare group Roche, FTSE 100 firm GlaxoSmithKline PLC (LON:GSK), French pharma group Sanofi, and Germany’s Evotec.
Full-year forecasts upgraded
In a separate trading update, Frontier said based on trading to date for its current fiscal year and a number of "positive portfolio developments" since the start of 2019, its results for the full year were now expected to be “ahead of management expectations”.
Shares were up 4.9% at 86p.