elbion and Wyeth Enter Collaboration to Develop New Treatments for Schizophrenia
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- Published on Tuesday, 06 February 2007 02:00
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LEUVEN, Belgium | Feb 05, 2007 | elbion NV, a European specialty pharmaceutical company with afocus on neurology and immunology, today announced it has entered a researchand license agreement with Wyeth Pharmaceuticals, a division of Wyeth (NYSE:WYE), around elbion's phosphodiesterase 10 (PDE10) program for CNS disorderswith an initial focus on schizophrenia.
The agreement includes an upfront payment, milestones andresearch funding potentially totalling up to $110 million over the life ofthe agreement. Wyeth will also pay elbion royalties on worldwide annual netsales of products developed under the agreement.
PDE 10 is highly expressed in the neurons in the brainassociated with neurological and psychiatric disorders includingschizophrenia and psychosis. By inhibiting PDE10 activity it is thought thatthe function of neurons could be improved offering a new mechanism of actionfor the treatment of schizophrenia, an area of high unmet medical need, andalso for other neurological conditions.
elbion and Wyeth will develop new chemical entities for theinhibition of PDE10 drawing on elbion's tremendous expertise in developingnew leads and compounds for PDE targets. Wyeth will be responsible forfurther clinical development of selected compounds. The research worksupporting the collaboration will be carried out at elbion's R&D facility atRadebeul, Germany and also involve scientists at elbion's headquarters inLeuven.
Bernd Kastler, CEO of elbion, said: "This collaborationunderlines the high quality of elbion's science, particularly our expertisein the highly promising field of PDE inhibitors. We are delighted to beworking with a partner of the stature of Wyeth which has the experience andscale needed to best exploit this ground breaking science in a majorindication."
elbion NV is a Belgian specialty pharmaceutical companyfocused on the discovery and development of new drugs for neurological andimmunological diseases. The Company has its headquarters in Leuven and alsohas significant R&D facilities in Radebeul, Germany.
elbion has a maturing pipeline with three products in theclinic for areas of significant commercial potential and a further portfolioof high quality late pre-clinical development compounds. The most advancedcandidate, Naltrexone Depot, is a sustained release formulation of naltrexonefor the treatment of alcohol abuse and is currently being prepared to enterpivotal Phase III clinical trials. ELB245 is an established compound thatelbion is developing for overactive bladder. It is in Phase II. ELB353, ahighly potent PDE4 inhibitor, is in Phase I trials for chronic inflammation.
elbion's strategy is to grow its pipeline through its ownintegrated drug discovery activities leveraging its expertise in neurologyand immunology and also by targeted in-licensing and M&A. elbion willmaximise the value of its product portfolio by further partnering of itscompounds and through selectively marketing products in certain territories,building its own sales and marketing operation.
In addition to its own clinical pipeline, elbion has aresearch agreement with Gilead Sciences for the discovery and development ofnew drugs for the treatment of hepatitis C virus.
elbion was formed in 2006 through the merger of elbion AG and4AZA Bioscience NV.
SOURCE: elbion NV