ExonHit Therapeutics Expands Strategic Collaboration with Allergan
News Jan 07, 2009
ExonHit Therapeutics has announced a reinforcement of its existing drug discovery collaboration with Allergan Sales, LLC. The collaboration is extended until December 2011, includes antibody discovery within the scope of the research activities and encompasses revised commercial terms.
The collaboration which has been renewed several times and initiated in December 2002 focuses on the identification, development and commercialization of drugs for the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases, pain and ophthalmology.
EHT/AGN 0001, the most advanced compound out of the collaboration, is currently ending Phase I clinical trials for pain indications. EHT/AGN 0002 and other compounds are in pre-clinical testing for indications in pain, ophthalmology or neurodegenerative diseases.
Allergan exercised its option to extend this collaboration until December 2011 earlier than anticipated. As part of the renewal agreement, Allergan will provide ExonHit with increased quarterly research funding instead of a single payment.
The scope of the collaboration is expanded to include epitope discovery for the development of antibody therapeutics in ocular disorders. ExonHit's gene profiling technology can readily be applied to identify disease specific target proteins, but also pinpoints novel epitopes present in those proteins, which are produced via alternative splicing.
ExonHit claims that its approach offers the potential benefit of identifying epitopes that are particularly disease specific, thus enabling the discovery of safer drugs with fewer side effects. In addition, such epitopes may provide the opportunity to create new intellectual property, even in more heavily investigated areas.
"We are very pleased to expand further our successful and longstanding collaboration with Allergan. We believe that combining the capabilities of our two organizations and enlarging both the research and commercial scope will enhance our ability to create value for our shareholders," said Loic Maurel, CEO of ExonHit Therapeutics.
The agreement provides for revised commercial terms. It expands Allergan's rights when sublicensing compounds discovered in the course of the collaboration with ExonHit.
In return, ExonHit will receive from Allergan upfront payments as well as payments linked to developmental milestones and sales achievements. ExonHit will also be paid royalties on future sales.
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