CombinatoRx Inks R&D Deal With Foundation

CombinatoRx Inc. of Boston has inked a multimillion-dollar, two-year research and development deal with a foundation to find treatments for spinal muscular atrophy, a neuromuscular disease.

The Boston startup said its deal with the New York-based Spinal Muscular Atrophy Foundation calls for two years of research and development funding from the foundation.

CombinatoRx will also own intellectual property and keep commercial rights to products produced under the arrangements. The company will also get milestone payments as its programs advance.

Company officials declined to disclose how much funding they’ll receive as part of the deal, other than terming it in the single-digit, million-dollar range.

Spinal muscular atrophy involves wasting of the skeletal muscles and is caused by gradual degeneration of nerve cells in the spinal cord. At some point, victims lose the ability to walk, stand or breathe.

CombinatoRx was founded in 2000 and focuses on developing drugs to treat cancer, inflammation, metabolic and other infectious diseases. The company has raised $90 million in venture capital to date.