Alizé Pharma signs research collaboration and license option agreement with Lilly
Companies to collaborate on an exclusive basis on Alizé Pharma's unacylated ghrelin (AZP-01) program for the treatment of Type II diabetes
Lyon, France, January 25, 2010 - Alizé Pharma, a group of companies developing innovative therapeutics for metabolic diseases and cancer, announced today that Alizé Pharma SAS has entered into a research collaboration and license option agreement with Eli Lilly and Company (NYSE:LLY) regarding Alizé Pharma's AZP-01 program, a program focused on the development of unacylated ghrelin (UAG) agonists for the treatment of type II diabetes.
Under the terms of the Agreement, Lilly will pay an undisclosed upfront fee and both companies will collaborate on Alizé's AZP-01 project. In return, Lilly will be granted an exclusive option to license the program according to predefined terms. Other terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Alizé's AZP-01 program aims at developing UAG agonists, a new potential therapeutic class for the treatment of Type II diabetes. Available preclinical and preliminary clinical data suggest that UAG and its analogs have a therapeutic potential in diabetes through a novel mechanism of action that includes glucose and lipid-lowering effects, a trophic effect on beta cells, as well as insulin-sensitizing actions. Thus, UAG and its analogs may have the potential not only to control the disease but also to have a positive impact on other cardiovascular risk factors such as obesity, dyslipidemia and impaired vascular remodeling.
"We are very pleased with this first agreement with Lilly, a recognized leader in the field of diabetes," said Alizé Pharma president and founder, Thierry Abribat. "This collaboration will put our UAG program on the best possible track. It gives us access to Lilly's proven expertise in developing first-in class molecules, while leveraging our resources and remaining totally in line with our business plan."
"We have been impressed with the work performed thus far by Alizé Pharma and its academic partners on this AZP-01 program," said Philip J Larsen, chief scientific officer for diabetes research at Lilly. "As part of our commitment to remain leaders in diabetes care, we look forward to launching this research collaboration with Alizé on this promising new target, and working together to validate the therapeutic potential of drugs in this class."
About Alizé Pharma
The Alizé Pharma Group is composed of privately-held biopharmaceutical companies specialized in the development of innovative therapeutics for the treatment of metabolic diseases and cancer. The group acquires R&D programs from public or private laboratories, selecting them according to strict criteria, with particular reference to medical need and innovation. It then handles preclinical and clinical development and establishes partnerships with the pharmaceutical industry via co-development or out-licensing agreements. The first of the two entities of the Group, Alizé Pharma SAS, is dedicated to AZP-01, a program based on unacylated ghrelin agonists, a new therapeutic class for the treatment of Type II diabetes. AZP-01 and its analogs have the potential not only to control the disease but also to have a positive impact on other cardiovascular risk factors such as obesity, dyslipidemia and impaired vascular remodeling. The parent molecule and its analogs are protected by four patent families worldwide. The second entity is Alizé Pharma II SAS. It is focused on the development of Asparec(R) (AZP-02), a new, long-acting recombinant L-asparaginase with reduced immunogenicity for the treatment of acute lymphoblastic leukemia, and currently at the preclinical stage. Founded in April 2007, the Alizé Pharma group is based in Ecully, near Lyon, France. Its management is made up of a team of drug development experts and a board of directors offering wide international experience. Since its inception, the group has raised EUR 4.8 million with private and institutional investors.