Debiopharm Group and Mercury Therapeutics, Inc. Sign an Exclusive License Agreement

Debiopharm Group and Mercury Therapeutics, Inc. Sign an Exclusive License Agreement

Tue Aug 4, 2009

Debiopharm Group and Mercury Therapeutics, Inc. Sign an Exclusive License
Agreement for the Development and Commercialisation of Debio 0930
A First-in-Class, Small Molecule Activator of AMPK for Treatment of Type 2
Diabetes

LAUSANNE, Switzerland and WOBURN, Massachusetts, August 4 /PRNewswire/ --
Debiopharm Group (Debiopharm), a Swiss-based global biopharmaceutical group
of companies with a focus on the development of prescription drugs that
target unmet medical needs, and Mercury Therapeutics, Inc. (Mercury), a
privately held biotech company based in Woburn, Massachusetts focusing on the
development of novel therapeutics for type 2 diabetes, cancer, and
cardiovascular disease, announce the signature of an exclusive license
agreement for the development and commercialisation of Debio 0930, a small
molecule activator of AMPK (adenosine monophosphate activated protein kinase)
for the treatment of diabetes and metabolic diseases. Activation of AMPK has
been shown to lower fasting blood glucose levels and improve glucose disposal
following a glucose challenge, two key goals in the management of type 2
diabetes.
    Under the terms of the agreement, Debiopharm shall pay Mercury for
continued research and development support, predefined advanced milestone
payments during the development of the compound and a royalty based on net
sales of commercialised product. First entry into man is expected for 2012.
    "We are very enthusiastic about our collaboration with an experienced
innovative biotech company like Mercury. Diabetes is a major cause of
morbidity and mortality by disease globally and we are determined to improve
the quality of patient's lives by developing a new therapy," said
Rolland-Yves Mauvernay, President and Founder of Debiopharm Group."
    "This alliance with Debiopharm represents important validation of
Mercury's technology and of the growing appreciation of AMPK as a novel drug
target for metabolic diseases. The development of an orally available direct
activator of AMPK has the potential to be a first-in-class therapeutic for
type 2 diabetes, hyperlipidemia, and a number of indications in oncology,"
added Dr. Neal Birnberg, CEO of Mercury, who was advised on this transaction
by Katan Associates.
    About Diabetes
    Diabetes is a disease in which the body does not produce or properly use
insulin. Insulin is a hormone that is needed to convert sugar, starches and
other food into energy needed for daily life. The cause of diabetes continues
to be a mystery, although both genetics and environmental factors such as
obesity and lack of exercise appear to play roles.
    Prevalence of diabetes worldwide is estimated at 180 million people, WHO
predicts this number will rise to 366 million by 2030.
    Type 2 diabetes (formerly called non-insulin-dependent or adult-onset)
results from the body's ineffective use of insulin. Type 2 diabetes comprises
90% of people with diabetes around the world, and is largely the result of
excess body weight and physical inactivity.
    About Debiopharm Group
    Debiopharm Group is a Swiss-based global biopharmaceutical group of
companies with a focus on the development of prescription drugs that target
unmet medical needs. The group in-licenses promising biological and small
molecule drug candidates. It develops its products for global registration
and maximum commercial potential. Once registered, the products are
out-licensed to pharmaceutical partners for sales and marketing.
    Debiopharm independently funds the worldwide development of all of its
products while providing expertise in pre-clinical and clinical trials,
manufacturing, drug delivery and formulation, and regulatory affairs.
    Founded in 1979 and headquartered in Lausanne, Switzerland, Debiopharm
has developed four products with global combined sales of $2.6 billion in
2008.
    For more information on Debiopharm Group, please visit:
http://www.debiopharm.com
    About Mercury Therapeutics, Inc.
    Located in Woburn, Massachusetts, Mercury Therapeutics is a privately
held biotech company focusing on the development of AMPK activators as novel
therapeutics for type 2 diabetes, cancer and cardiovascular disease. Mercury
is focusing its internal AMPK drug development program for indications in
oncology. Mercury's lead generation platform is based on a proprietary
technology that enables the discovery and development of novel compounds that
directly activate AMPK, a key regulator of whole body energy metabolism,
cholesterol and fatty acid production, and cell division

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