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Cytokinetics, Inc. (CYTK)
Cytokinetics and Astellas Announce Collaboration in the Field of Skeletal Muscle Activation Conference Call
June 25, 2013 8:30 am ET
Sharon A. Barbari - Executive Vice President, Finance and Chief Financial Officer
Robert I. Blum - President & Chief Executive Officer
Fady I. Malik - Senior Vice President, Research and Early Development
Charles C. Duncan – Piper Jaffray, Inc.
Ritu Baral – Canaccord Genuity, Inc.
Jason Butler – JMP Securities
George B. Zavoico – McNicoll, Lewis & Vlak LLC
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I will now turn the call over to Sharon Barbari, Cytokinetics’ Executive Vice President of Finance and Chief Financial Officer. Please go ahead.
Sharon A. Barbari
Good morning, and thank you for joining the Cytokinetics senior management team on this conference call today. Also present during this call are Robert Blum, our President and Chief Executive Officer; and Dr. Fady Malik, Senior Vice President of Research and Early Development.
The following discussion, including our responses to questions contain statements that constitute forward-looking statements for purposes of the Safe Harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, including but not limited to statements relating to our financial guidance and corporate partnering; to the initiation, enrollment, design, conduct and results of clinical trials and to other research and development activities.
Our actual results might differ materially from those projected in these forward-looking statements. Additional information concerning factors that could cause our actual results to differ materially from those in these forward-looking statements is contained in our SEC filings, including our most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K, our Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q, and our current reports on Form 8-K. Copies of these documents may be obtained from the SEC or by visiting the investor relations section of our website. These forward-looking statements speak only as of today. You should not rely on them as representing our views in the future. We undertake no obligation to update these statements after this call.
Now, I’ll turn the call over to Robert Blum.
Robert I. Blum
Thank you, Sharon, and thank you for joining us this morning. This morning, we issued a press release announcing that Cytokinetics and Astellas have entered into a collaboration focused on the research, development and commercialization of skeletal muscle activators.
As many of you have been following our progress, you may know that we have been engaging in research and development activities relating to our skeletal muscle contractility program for some time, and we have also been considering various partnering opportunities relating to that program.
We are very pleased to announce a collaboration today with Astellas, a leading multinational pharmaceutical company with an impressive strategic vision and commitment to innovation. The primary objective of the collaboration is to advance novel therapies for diseases and medical conditions associated with muscle weakness.
Under the collaboration, Cytokinetics has exclusively licensed to Astellas the rights to co-develop and commercialize CK-2127107, or CK-107, our next-generation fast skeletal troponin activator for potential applications in non-neuromuscular indications.
CK-107, which is currently in Phase 1 clinical development will be developed jointly by Cytokinetics and Astellas. Cytokinetics will be primarily responsible for the conduct of Phase I clinical trials and certain Phase II readiness activities for CK-107 and Astellas will be primarily responsible for the conduct of subsequent development and commercialization activities for CK-107. Under this collaboration, Cytokinetics retains an option to conduct early-stage development for CK-107 and collaboration products for certain agreed indications.
Astellas will have the exclusive right to commercialize collaboration products worldwide subject to Cytokinetics option to co-promote collaboration products in the United States and Canada.
In addition, the companies will jointly conduct research in the area of skeletal muscle activation. During the two-year collaboration research term, the companies will focus on expanding emerging opportunities in skeletal muscle contractility. Astellas will have exclusive rights to develop and commercialize next-generation fast skeletal troponin activators in non-neuromuscular indications and to develop and commercialize other novel mechanism skeletal muscle activators in all indications, again, subject to certain Cytokinetics development and commercialization rights.
In a moment, Fady will elaborate on our objectives and key activities in research and development, and Sharon will review the financials of this deal.
Before they do so, I should point out however that Cytokinetics has not included tirasemtiv as part of this collaboration. Cytokinetics will continue to independently develop tirasemtiv, our fast skeletal troponin activator currently in Phase II clinical trials for the potential treatment of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis or ALS as well as other neuromuscular disorders.
To be clear, today’s announced deal does not represent a departure from our commitment to tirasemtiv nor to our resolve to bring forward the potential next treatment for ALS, quite the opposite. This collaboration affords us an opportunity to expand our research and development of next generation skeletal muscle activators with a leading pharmaceutical company that is very dedicated to this area of biology and with a commitment to investigate its broader potential here than we could practically do ourselves.
I’m very pleased with this collaboration because it provides us together with our partner Astellas, with an opportunity to more fully explore this new frontier of muscle biology while opening up avenues for development of CK-107, our next generation skeletal muscle activator beyond our current strategic focus on neuromuscular diseases.