San Diego Business Journal

RQx Pharmaceuticals Enters Drug Collaboration with Genentech

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

La Jolla-based RQx Pharmaceuticals Inc. could receive up to $111 million from its new drug discovery collaboration with Genentech, a member of the Switzerland-based biotech giant Roche Group.

Under the terms of the agreement, RQx will receive an undisclosed upfront payment along with research and development milestone payments.

The company was founded in 2010 with Series A financing from La Jolla-based Avalon Ventures. RQx develops antibiotics, which treat drug-resistant bacteria.

“We have made tremendous progress at RQx since the company’s founding two years ago, and we are pleased to be moving forward in partnership with Genentech to bring new drugs to market,” said Court Turner, CEO of RQx and venture partner at Avalon Ventures, in a statement.

This is the third Avalon-funded biotechnology company in San Diego to receive a sizable pharma deal this year. Afraxis Inc. entered a $187.5 million global licensing agreement with Genentech to develop drugs for an undisclosed neurological disease. And Zacharon Pharmaceuticals was acquired by Novato-based BioMarin Pharmaceuticals Inc. for $10 million upfront.

“We see a unique opportunity to apply Genentech’s expertise in drug discovery and development with the innovation and focus of RQx, to develop a new class of novel drug compounds,” said James Sabry, senior vice president of partnering at Genentech, in a statement.

— Meghana Keshavan