NeurOp Corporation has announced a collaboration with Bristol-Myers Squibb focused on the development of NeurOp’s proprietary small molecules for use in the treatment of major depression and other central nervous system disorders. Under the terms of the agreement, Bristol-Myers Squibb has agreed to pay NeurOp an upfront fee of $1.5 million and to fund a two-year research collaboration. In addition, NeurOp is eligible to receive up to $74 million in potential milestone payments for the successful development of a compound in major depression and royalties on worldwide sales of commercialized compounds. The compound class to be developed comprises NR2B subunit-specific N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor antagonists.
Monthly Archives: March 2010
AgAgaMatrix and sanofi-aventis have announced that they have signed a long-term agreement for the development, supply and commercialization of blood glucose monitoring solutions. Under the terms of the agreement, AgaMatrix and sanofi-aventis will co-develop solutions in diabetes management that incorporate AgaMatrix’s WaveSense technology. Sanofi-aventis will commercialize the developed solutions through its Global Diabetes Division.
Ipsen and Dicerna Pharmaceuticals have entered into an exclusive research collaboration agreement to leverage their expertise in Dicer Substrate siRNA research and peptide engineering. Under the research collaboration agreement the companies will develop novel conjugates of Dicerna’s DsiRNA molecules and Ipsen’s peptide targeting vectors in the therapeutic areas of oncology and endocrinology.
Sage Bionetworks has announced a collaboration with Merck to integrate large molecular and clinical datasets related to metabolic and cardiovascular disease. Sage and Merck will collaborate to create network-based computational models of disease that are designed yo
contribute to Merck’s drug development strategy. After an initial one year period of exclusive access, the Merck data, analysis and computational models of disease will be made publicly available. Sage Bionetworks is a nonprofit medical research organization established in 2009 to create comprehensive molecular and clinical open source datasets to create validated disease models.
The San Diego Business Journal has reported that Merck Serono has ended a partnership with Lpath. According to the report, Lpath’s board of directors had rejected a request by Merck which would have allowed the company additional time to weigh a decision on whether to take its anti-cancer drug Asonep into mid-stage trials. The original deal, signed in October 2008, gave Merck exclusive licensing rights to the drug candidate. It was valued at $473 million. Lpath is eligible for two more developmental milestone payments, totaling $4 million. Lpath has earned $17 million from the partnership.
The Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation and MannKind have announced that MannKind has successfully achieved all milestones of a research agreement with MMRF to develop an inhibitor for the treatment of multiple myeloma. The MMRF awarded MannKind a $1 million grant through its 2007 Biotech Investment Award program. The final milestone of the research agreement was reached on selection of an IRE-1α inhibitor for evaluation in the preclinical studies that are required to file an IND with the FDA.
GenVec has announced that it is discontinuing its Phase 3 clinical trial of TNFerade in patients with locally advanced pancreatic cancer based on results of an interim analysis. This interim analysis of overall survival, conducted after the 184th death (two-thirds of total expected events), was designed to determine whether the study should continue. GenVec has determined that the PACT trial would not meet the goal of demonstrating persuasive evidence of clinical effectiveness that could form the basis for regulatory approval in the population chosen for study. According to Reuters the news caused GenVec’s stock to fall 70% in after-hours trading. In January GenVec signed a $213 million deal with Novartis on GenVec’s preclinical program for hearing loss and balance disorders.
Silence Therapeutics has announced that it and Dainippon Sumitomo Pharma have agreed to an expansion of their ongoing small interfering RNA delivery collaboration. Under this collaboration, which was signed in August 2009, the companies are using Silence’s siRNA molecules and multiple lipid delivery and targeting technologies to demonstrate functional delivery of RNA interferencetherapeutics to specific disease targets in the body. Under the terms of the expansion, the companies will examine delivery to additional disease targets selected by Dainippon Sumitomo. The financial details of the original collaboration and this extension have not been disclosed.
PharmaTimes reports Margaret Beer, head of licensing and external research in Europe for Merck Sharp & Dohme, as commenting that she expects that the newly-expanded company, fresh from its acquisition of Schering-Plough, will have an increased appetite for partnerships.
Medivation has announced that, following the failure this month of dimebon in trials, the company is implementing a plan to reduce its workforce and operating costs in order to focus its resources on prioritized dimebon trials and the continued development of MDV3100. The company will reduce the number of staff by 20% percent. Two members of the management team, Karen Reeves, senior vice president, clinical development and Lisa Taylor, vice president, commercial development, will be leaving the company. Medivation has also stopped its search for a new chief financial officer.
In September 2008, Medivation announced a global agreement with Pfizer to develop and commercialize dimebon for the treatment of Alzheimer’s and Huntington diseases. Pfizer paid $225 million upfront to partner on the drug. The company also has a partnership with Astellas for MDV3100 an oral anti-androgen in development for the treatment of advanced prostate cancer. The Phase 3 AFFIRM trial for MDV3100 is currently enrolling patients.