Parkinson’s disease: Servier and Oncodesign join forces to investigate new line of research
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- Published on Monday, 11 March 2019 18:12
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• Strategic collaboration for the development of LRRK2 kinase inhibitors in Parkinson's disease
• Servier to be granted option to exclusively license one or several drug candidates as soon as they are approved to enter phase 1
• Servier will fund entire program
• Oncodesign will receive an upfront payment of €3M at the signing of the partnership, and could receive up to €320M ($360M), excluding sales royalties
PARIS and DIJON, France I March 11, 2019 – Servier and Oncodesign (ALONC – FR0011766229) have announced a strategic partnership for the research and development of potential drug candidates for Parkinson’s disease.
This research and development partnership involves the LRRK2 kinase inhibitors derived from Oncodesign’s proprietary Nanocyclix® platform, and their potential to act as therapeutic agents against Parkinson’s disease. The partnership draws on the complementary expertise of Servier and Oncodesign in the field of neurodegenerative diseases and macrocyclic kinase inhibitors.
According to the terms of the agreement, Oncodesign and Servier will collaborate to ensure the success of the program. Oncodesign will be responsible for the research program up to the selection of preclinical candidates, notably at its research site in Les Ulis, France. The program will be funded in its entirety by Servier, which has been granted an exclusive worldwide licensing option on the program. This can be exercised once IND (Investigational New Drug) status is obtained. Oncodesign will receive an initial payment of €3M upon signing the partnership agreement, followed by other significant milestone payments until the validation of entry into Phase 1. In addition, Oncodesign will receive €3 million in annual funding for research activities related to the project. All in all, Servier could pay Oncodesign up to €320M ($360M) in milestones payments, excluding royalties.
“This partnership is a result of the choices and investments that we have made over the past 18 months to put together a portfolio of promising drug candidates derived from our Nanocyclix® platform. The pharmaceutical industry is currently showing a keen interest in new treatments for Parkinson’s disease, particularly around LRRK2 kinase, which is considered as a high-potential target for treating this disease. Servier’s expertise will be a key asset in the early stage of this research agreement with regard to successfully carrying out the program which, in the medium term, could lead to the development of new drug candidates. Moreover, this partnership means we can channel our own financial resources into developing our three other proprietary programs, RIPK2, ALK1 and MNK1,” said Philippe Genne, PhD, CEO and founder of Oncodesign.
Jan Hoflack, PhD, scientific director and director of operations at Oncodesign, said: “The only therapies currently available for Parkinson’s patients aim to alleviate the symptoms of the disease. LRRK2 inhibitors have the potential to act directly on the progression of the disease, which would result in improved living standards for patients. This agreement with Servier, a company that is invested in researching neurological conditions and has partnered with Oncodesign in the past, represents an important step towards meeting our goal of offering a real benefit to society through precision medicine.”
Christophe Thurieau, director of Servier’s research centers, said: “We are thrilled to be collaborating with Oncodesign in order to work towards our common goal of developing a treatment for Parkinson’s disease. Oncodesign’s expertise in LRRK2 kinase inhibitors sets it apart; it could become a treatment of choice. This partnership between Oncodesign and Servier combines a strong synergy between the proven know-how of a biopharmaceutical company and the expertise of an international pharmaceutical group.”
About Parkinson’s disease
Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a neurodegenerative disorder responsible for motor disorders that affect approximately 6.3 million people worldwide. In France, PD afflicts 1% of people aged 65 years or older. Clinical features include bradykinesia, rigidity, and tremor, commonly named motor symptoms. PD is characterized by progressive loss of dopaminergic neurons and accumulation of aggregation of ?-synuclein protein in the brain. Only dopamine replacement therapy, which compensates for dopamine neuronal loss, reduces with some efficacy motor symptoms in PD patients, but does not stop or slow the neurodegenerative process. At present, there are no proven neuroprotective or neurorestorative therapies. Disease modification is thus the most important objective in PD research & development today.
About the LRRK2 target
Although PD is regarded as a sporadic disorder with no clearly identified origin, LRRK2 mutations are associated with the highest risk of familial PD, and increased levels of LRRK2 are also observed in sporadic patients. Pathological characteristics and clinical symptoms are indistinguishable between sporadic patients and patients with familial disease and LRRK2 mutations. LRRK2 is a multidomain protein which contains a core region with both GTPase and kinase enzymatic activities where most pathogenic mutations are located. LRRK2 inhibition represents a potential neuroprotective and disease-modifying therapeutic principle for the treatment of PD.
Servier is an international pharmaceutical company governed by a nonprofit foundation, with its headquarters in France (Suresnes). With a strong international presence in 149 countries and a turnover of €4.15 billion ($4.66bn) in 2017, Servier employs 21 700 people worldwide. Entirely independent, the Group reinvests 25% of its turnover (brand name drugs) in research and development and uses all its profits for development. Corporate growth is driven by Servier’s constant search for innovation in five areas of excellence: cardiovascular, immune-inflammatory and neuropsychiatric diseases, cancer and diabetes, as well as by its activities in high-quality generic drugs. Servier also offers eHealth solutions beyond drug development. www.servier.com
Founded over 20 years ago by Dr Philippe Genne, the company’s CEO and chairman, Oncodesign is a biopharmaceutical company dedicated to precision medicine. With its unique experience acquired by working with more than 600 clients, including the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies, along with its comprehensive technological platform combining state-of-the-art medicinal chemistry, pharmacology, regulated bioanalysis, medical imaging, and artificial intelligence, Oncodesign is able to predict and identify, at a very early stage, each molecule’s therapeutic usefulness and potential to become an effective drug. Applied to kinase inhibitors, which represent a market estimated at over $46 billion (€41bn) in 2016 and accounting for almost 25% of the pharmaceutical industry’s R&D expenditure, Oncodesign’s technology has already enabled the targeting of several promising molecules with substantial therapeutic potential, in oncology and elsewhere, along with partnerships with pharmaceutical groups such as Bristol-Myers Squibb and UCB. Oncodesign is based in Dijon, France, in the heart of the town’s university and hospital hub, and within the Paris-Saclay cluster. Oncodesign has 231 employees and subsidiaries in Canada and the US. www.oncodesign.com