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Proximagen Acquires Two CNS Drug Development Programmes from GlaxoSmithKline

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Both programmes target diseases of the CNS; the more advanced program is ready to enter the clinic to be investigated for its potential to treat cognition disorders.

Proximagen is acquiring these assets following the announcement by GSK in February that it would be stopping drug discovery efforts in some areas of neurosciences including psychiatry and pain.  The programmes, which have had substantial investment by GSK to date, are designed to develop positive allosteric modulators (PAMs) and have the potential to address the needs of patients suffering from a variety of disorders of the CNS including cognition, neuropathic pain, and Parkinson's disease. Both PAM programmes represent an opportunity to circumvent the potential issues of limited efficacy and tolerance seen with some agonist programmes targeting the same receptors in early clinical development.

The more advanced programme targets the α7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) and has a Phase I-ready compound which has achieved positive efficacy in relevant models of disease whilst at GSK (“the α7 Programme”).  The second programme is at an earlier stage and targets the dopamine D1 receptor (“the D1 Programme”) which is implicated in several neurological indications, including Parkinson’s disease. The D1 Programme is complementary to Proximagen’s PRX5 programme looking at cognition in Parkinson’s disease and will further the Company’s understanding of potential treatment pathways. 

Both of these drug candidate programmes complement and strengthen Proximagen’s existing portfolio of more than 15 innovative therapeutic programmes addressing diseases of the CNS, inflammation and oncology.  The further development of the α7 Programme and D1 Programme will be undertaken by the Company’s existing CNS drug development team, within which there is particular expertise in developing treatments for neurodegenerative diseases such as cognitive decline and Parkinson’s disease. In addition, the clinical development of the assets will be monitored by Jackie Hunter, member of the Board of Directors of Proximagen, who was formerly with GSK, holding a range of roles including Senior Vice President and Head of the Neurology & GI Centre of Excellence for Drug Discovery (CEDD).

Specific financial terms are not disclosed.