Renovis, Inc. has announced an agreement with Pfizer Inc. to extend the term of the companies' worldwide collaboration to research, develop and commercialize small molecules that target the vanilloid receptor, VR1. This extension provides Renovis with additional research funding through June 30, 2008 and reflects the goal of Pfizer and Renovis to advance multiple, small molecule VR1 antagonists toward clinical development.
The VR1 receptor is a member of a related group of ion channel proteins known as the transient receptor potential (TRP) family that mediate and influence cell signaling. Inhibitors of VR1 are predicted to be useful in the treatment of pain, urinary incontinence and other diseases and disorders.
"We partnered our VR1 program with Pfizer in June 2005 at a preclinical stage because we believed that safe and effective antagonists of VR1 could potentially address major medical needs in multiple therapeutic areas and we wanted to work with a partner capable of aggressively pursuing this broad potential with us," stated Corey S. Goodman, Ph.D., President and Chief Executive Officer of Renovis.
"Since then, the collaboration has produced its first advanced candidate, which we expect to enter human testing in 2007, as well as several other small molecule VR1 antagonists that we hope to advance into IND-enabling studies and clinical development with Pfizer during the term of this extension," Goodman continued.
"VR1 antagonists represent an enormous opportunity to help large numbers of patients who are poorly served by existing therapies," added Michael G. Kelly, Ph.D., Senior Vice President of Research and Development. "We are strongly committed to doing all that we can with Pfizer to deliver on this promise."
Under the terms of the extension, Pfizer will continue to fund all aspects of the collaboration including the research and preclinical development efforts at Renovis through June 30, 2008.
Other terms of the collaboration and licensing agreements between Pfizer and Renovis have not been changed.