Amgen Inc. and Arrakis Therapeutics announced this week a collaboration that will aim to discover and develop therapeutics against a range of difficult-to-drug conditions.

Under the agreement, $75 million will be paid upfront by the Thousand Oaks pharmaceutical company to Arrakis for five initial programs. Amgen will also have the option to nominate further programs.


Arrakis will be eligible for additional payments from Amgen for preclinical, clinical, regulatory and sales milestones, and royalties up to low double digits. The Massachusetts based therapeutics company could potentially receive several billion dollars in future payments if every milestone is met and future program options are exercised.


“We are excited to partner with Amgen’s strong research team to pursue a shared goal of creating a new class of medicines that induce degradation of disease-causing RNAs,” Dr. Michael Gilman, chief executive of Arrakis, said in a statement. “This collaboration further demonstrates the utility of our proprietary rSM discovery platform for targeting RNA with small molecules and paves the way for creating powerful new treatments for patients.”


Shares of Amgen closed up $4.51, or nearly 2 percent, to $235.36 on the Nasdaq Friday, a day when the market closed up a fraction of a percent.