Synta Pharmaceuticals Corp, a biopharmaceutical company focused on discovering, developing, and commercializing small molecule drugs to treat severe medical conditions, announced that it has achieved operational milestones triggering $25 million in payment from GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) under its collaboration agreement for the development and commercialization of elesclomol.

Elesclomol is a novel, oxidative stress inducing, small molecule drug candidate currently undergoing phase-3 clinical investigation in metastatic melanoma, the SYMMETRY(SM) trial, with other trials in other indications planned. Elesclomol is not yet approved for any indication in any market.

Synta is eligible to earn a further $25 million in operational milestone payments prior to completion of enrolment of the SYMMETRY trial. Following enrolment completion and analysis of the primary endpoint data, Synta is eligible for an additional $25 million milestone payment if the trial meets the primary endpoint or if Synta and GSK agree to file for regulatory approval.

In total, including the above $75 million in received or near-term potential payments, the collaboration agreement calls for $585 million in development and regulatory milestone payments related to melanoma ($145 million) and other cancer indications ($440 million).

In October 2007, Synta and GSK entered into a collaboration agreement for elesclomol. Under the terms of the agreement, the companies will jointly develop and commercialize elesclomol in the US and GSK will have exclusive responsibility for development and commercialization of elesclomol outside the US.

Synta and GSK are working closely together to further the clinical development of elesclomol as well as prepare for the manufacture and commercial launch of elesclomol.Elesclomol is a novel, injectable, investigational drug candidate that triggers apoptosis (programmed cell death) in cancer cells.

Synta Pharmaceuticals Corp. is a biopharmaceutical company focused on discovering, developing, and commercializing small molecule drugs to extend and enhance the lives of patients with severe medical conditions, including cancer and chronic inflammatory diseases.