Convergence Pharmaceuticals and Selcia Announce Drug Discovery Collaboration Around Chronic Pain

CAMBRIDGE & ONGAR, United Kingdom--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Convergence Pharmaceuticals Limited ("Convergence"), the new company focused on the development of novel and high value analgesic medicines, and Selcia Limited ("Selcia"), a contract research organisation, today are pleased to announce that they have entered into a drug discovery collaboration to identify and develop high quality candidate molecules for the treatment of chronic pain. Under the terms of the agreement, Convergence Pharmaceuticals will apply its ion channel biology platform, medicinal chemistry know-how and preclinical development expertise, recently formed out of GlaxoSmithKline ("GSK"), to Selcia's medicinal chemistry and chemistry support services. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Commenting on the announcement, Dr Ged Giblin, Head of Chemistry and Preclinical Development at Convergence Pharmaceuticals, said: "Following the successful launch of Convergence Pharmaceuticals with a $35m fund raising, and in-line with our business strategy, this collaboration uniquely enables our goal of identifying novel, high quality, targeted molecules for the treatment of chronic pain. Convergence has a team of highly experienced pain scientists in the field of ion-channel technology and medicinal chemistry and we look forward to maximising the capabilities of Selcia's expert medicinal and synthetic chemists. We believe the combination of Convergence's platform and Selcia's bespoke approach will provide an innovative model for this drug discovery partnership in finding solutions for a major unmet clinical need."

Selcia's Managing Director, Dr. Hans Fliri, said: "We are delighted to enter into this partnership with Convergence Pharmaceuticals. At Selcia we are focussed on providing solutions for problems in drug discovery and we have a proven track record of delivering both clinical candidates and added value to our partners' research programmes. Our customers are able to utilise a flexible, experienced, productive resource and have access to effective proprietary technology. This venture is an exciting development in the area of pain research and we look forward to supporting the Convergence team in reaching their goals."

In the UK alone, four out of five initial visits to the general practitioner involve pain as the primary symptom, and prescription rates for analgesic medications are the second highest. By 2023 the chronic pain market in the seven major pharmaceutical markets is predicted to reach over $47 billion1. In the same seven pharmaceutical markets, 160 million people are estimated to suffer from osteoarthritis, 36 million people are estimated to suffer from chronic low back pain and sciatica and over 10 million people are estimated to suffer from neuropathic pain.

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