Under the terms of the agreement, Zalicus will pay Hydra an upfront payment and fund research and development activities at Hydra for a two-year period. During this time, Hydra will perform the preclinical development activities necessary to advance Zalicus’ preclinical ion channel product candidates toward clinical development. Zalicus’ clinical-stage novel ion channel modulators currently in Phase 1 clinical development for pain, including Z-160, an N-type calcium channel blocker and Z944, a novel T-type calcium channel blocker, are not included in this collaboration. In addition, Zalicus will retain all intellectual property and commercial rights to its product candidates.
"We are excited to collaborate with Hydra, a recognized leader in ion channel research and development,” said Mark H.N. Corrigan, MD, CEO of Zalicus. “Our ion channel discovery research team has been extremely productive in generating a number of ion channel modulators and the time is right to advance those programs into preclinical development with the goal of selecting the best candidates to move into clinical development. Our two clinical-stage ion channel product candidates, Z160 and Z944, originated from our previous discovery efforts and are currently progressing through Phase 1 clinical testing."
“Coming so quickly after our January announcement of Hydra’s and Cubist Pharmaceuticals’ progression in the clinic with our novel TRPA1 modulator for acute pain, the collaboration with Zalicus solidifies our strong position in this area and provides non-dilutive capital to help fund internal activities,” said Russell Herndon, Chief Executive Officer of Hydra Biosciences. “The Hydra team looks forward to collaborating with Zalicus to advance their sodium and calcium channel candidates toward clinical development in the next two years.”
In connection with the collaboration agreement, Zalicus also announced it will discontinue its Vancouver, British Columbia-based ion channel discovery research operations, resulting in a workforce reduction of 16 employees, or approximately 28% of the Company’s workforce.