NicOx S.A. has announced that Pfizer Inc. has selected a development candidate in its collaboration with NicOx, which is focused on nitric oxide-donating compounds in ophthalmology.
Accordingly, Pfizer has exercised its option to acquire an exclusive worldwide license to the proprietary NicOx compounds covered by the agreement.
Michele Garufi, Chairman and CEO of NicOx, commented, "We are delighted that our joint research collaboration with Pfizer has resulted in the successful identification of a lead candidate for development in only 15 months."
"This is a significant achievement given the very high rate of attrition for compounds in research and demonstrates our technology’s ability to generate robust drug candidates."
Pfizer and NicOx were jointly responsible for this research project, in which a number of nitric oxide-donating compounds were synthesized and submitted to an extensive series of preclinical tests.
Several compounds fulfilled a number of key criteria and demonstrated superior activity, compared to reference compounds, in established in vivo eye disease models.
Pfizer has selected a candidate for development and will fund and be responsible for all future work on this compound.
The research, option, development and licensing agreement between Pfizer and NicOx was signed in August 2004 and granted Pfizer an option to acquire a worldwide license to the nitric oxide-donating compounds under study, with exclusive development and commercialisation rights.
Including the payment, NicOx will have received $4 million from Pfizer in connection with this agreement and stands to receive a further $33 million, plus royalties, if the collaboration results in the successful commercial development of a product.