BioXell to regain rights to TREM platform following strategic decision by Merck & Co., Inc.
- Category: Proteins and Peptides
- Published on Monday, 23 July 2007 04:00
- Hits: 2490
MILAN, Italy | July 20, 2007 | BioXell S.p.A. (SWX: BXLN) today announced that it will regain rights to its TREM platform from its collaboration partner, Merck & Co., Inc. This follows a strategic decision by Merck to streamline its focus in this area. In view of scientific progress of TREM-1 for sepsis, BioXell intends to seek another pharmaceutical partner to continue development of the platform.
Dr. William Strohl, Executive Director, Biologics Research at Merck commented: “Following a strategic evaluation within the franchise area, we have decided not to pursue this program. Our collaboration with BioXell and its scientists has been excellent and we wish BioXell the best as they continue to pursue this important therapeutic target.”
Enrico Colli, MD, Chief Medical Officer and Head of R&D at BioXell, commented: “The collaboration with Merck has been of great value in allowing us to make significant advances towards a potential new treatment for sepsis, a major unmet medical need. While we would have been pleased to continue what has been a fruitful partnership, we understand Merck’s strategic interest in focusing on its core therapeutic areas. We will certainly be pressing on with the development of TREM-1 and the rest of the platform, and will provide further details regarding this program in due course.”
The TREMs are a family of receptors believed to play a significant role in a number of inflammatory conditions, including sepsis, which kills 200,000 hospital patients a year in the US alone. BioXell has shown, in preclinical models of sepsis, that injection of soluble TREM-1 as a decoy receptor is able to confer significant protection from mortality.
Worldwide rights to the TREM platform were previously licensed to Merck & Co. in April 2005, as part of a collaboration agreement for the development of TREM-related therapeutic and diagnostic products.
BioXell (SWX: BXLN) is a biopharmaceutical company focused on the discovery and development of drugs that exploit novel mechanisms of action to treat important urological, inflammatory, and related disorders with significant unmet medical needs. The Company was founded in 2002 as a spin-out from Roche. BioXell's strategic goal is to become a fully integrated pharmaceutical company by maximizing the commercial potential of its product portfolio and leveraging existing platforms into profitable partnerships.
BioXell’s lead compound, Elocalcitol, derived from its proprietary VD3 (Vitamin D3) technology platform, is in Phase IIb clinical trials for Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH) and Overactive Bladder (OAB), with a third Phase IIa trial for Male Infertility scheduled for the second half of 2007. In addition, the Company has several follow-on programs based on both VD3 and other technological platforms. These include BXL746, to enter Phase II trials for Post-Surgical Adhesions in 2008, as well as MNAC13, an innovative new approach to the treatment of pain, and the TREM platform, with TREM-1 in development for the treatment of septic shock.
In June 2006, BioXell listed its shares on the main segment of the SWX Swiss Exchange. BioXell currently employs 60 people and has sites in Milan, Italy and Nutley, NJ, USA. More information on BioXell can be found at: http://www.bioxell.com
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SOURCE: BioXell S.p.A.