Allergan plc and Rugen Therapeutics have announced that they have entered into an exclusive collaboration to support the discovery and development of novel therapies for Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) and Obsessive Compulsive disorders (OCD).
Importantly, Allergan sought out this collaboration due to its passion and willingness to invest in people with ASD and their families and to identify ground-breaking therapeutic modalities to help them.
The collaboration is another example of Allergan's commitment to its Open Science model - developing promising products that frequently originate with smaller, innovative companies throughout the biopharma innovation ecosystem.
Under the terms of the agreement, Rugen received an upfront initiation fee at the outset of the collaboration, and is entitled to development stage initiation and success-based milestone payments for advancing compounds in development. Allergan will have the exclusive option to acquire all rights, including the worldwide intellectual property rights and other assets, related to the compounds following clinical proof of concept studies.
As part of the collaboration, Allergan and Rugen will jointly focus on the development of novel small molecule drug candidates. The research collaboration initially includes early stage compounds, which are first-in-class orally active molecules being developed for multiple CNS disorders. Rugen has demonstrated efficacy for its compounds in animal models of ASD and OCD.
"Allergan is committed to finding breakthrough therapies in areas where there are limited treatment options. Autism Spectrum Disorders and OCD are areas of medicine where there continues to be a substantial amount of unmet need in identifying and developing treatments for the underlying mechanisms of disease. For example, according to the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention,i one in 68 children has autism spectrum disease," said David Nicholson, Executive Vice President, Global Brands Research and Development at Allergan. "The compounds we are working to develop with Rugen are in preclinical development, but we are excited by the possibilities that these novel molecules may provide to physicians, patients and caregivers facing these disorders."
"Rugen was founded on the belief that recent advances in our fundamental understanding of psychiatric illnesses, led by genetic discoveries, will allow us to develop breakthrough therapeutics for devastating illnesses. We are thrilled that Allergan, a global leader in the development and commercialization of treatments for CNS diseases, recognizes our scientific capabilities in neuroscience and the promise of the series of new molecules we discovered and developed at Rugen. We have a highly committed and experienced partner in Allergan and look forward to working together to develop multiple new breakthrough medicines over the coming years," said Stacie Weninger, Executive Director of F-Prime Biomedical Research Initiative (FBRI).