When analyzing Synta (NASDAQ:SNTA), I decided to take a pass on buying its stock right now because I was worried that there wouldn’t be anyone to partner with it; Rosetta (NASDAQ:ROSG) seems to have the opposite problem. Almost every product it's developing has a partner.
Ambion incorporated its miRNAs into its line of miRNA-based research kits at the end of 2005. This is the only product that has currently made any money ($228,000) for it.
It has an agreement with Asuragen to co-develop a diagnostic test for prostate cancer. Basically, both companies will do initial research to determine the best miRNAs to use in the test and then Asuragen will develop the assay and obtain regulatory approvals. Rosetta will be compensated by being paid royalties for the miRNAs used in the test.
Rosetta is collaborating with Isis Pharmaceuticals (ISIS) to co-develop a drug to regulate miRNAs to treat liver cancer. The project is in early stages, but if successful, will be co-developed by the two companies.
It is collaborating with Hadassah Medical Organization on discovering miRNAs that might be used in the suppression of hepatitis C infection. Rosetta would develop any drugs or tests that come out of the collaboration and pay Hadassah royalties. Rosetta has an additional agreement with Hadassah to do general research in the field of miRNAs, where any miRNAs discovered will be jointly owned.
Rosetta has been partnering with U.S. Genomics to develop an early detection test for lung cancer using its miRNAs and U.S. Genomics’ miRNA expression profiling platform, but it believes that its expression profiling platform is better and may terminate this collaboration. In either case, the lung tumor samples used are provided by an agreement with Tel Hashomer Medical.
In addition to its collaborations, it has also directly licensed quite a few miRNAs to be used in the development of tests and drug targets:
From Johns Hopkins approximately-130 human microRNAs From The Rockefeller University-80 human microRNAs and approximately 30 viral microRNAs From Max Planck Society-110 human microRNAs
In case you haven’t been keeping track, that’s 9 partners. Trying to figure out how much money it could potentially make off of any given product is going to be next to impossible. It is also developing diagnostic tests on its own, and I’ll get into those next time.