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Celgene, Kyn Therapeutics team up to develop cancer therapies

Celgene Corp. entered a collaboration with Boston's Kyn Therapeutics Inc. to develop cancer therapies.

Under the deal, Summit, N.J.-based Celgene will pay Kyn $80 million in cash up front, in addition to equity investments, potential milestone payments and tiered royalties on net sales.

Kyn, in return, will grant Celgene exclusive options to globally license its kynurenine-degrading enzyme, or Kynase, and aryl hydrocarbon receptor, or AHR, antagonist programs.

Kynase and AHR are associated with immune responses that can be used to treat a range of tumor types, Kyn said in a news release. The programs can be developed for patients who do not fully benefit from other immuno-oncology therapies, such as checkpoint inhibitors, the company added.

Kyn will be responsible for research and development activities under the deal through phase 1b, after which Celgene can decide to lead and fund development and commercialization of the licensed programs.