Ipsen, Pharnext ink $126M deal

Ipsen and Pharnext have inked a research, development and marketing agreement covering drug candidates intended for the Charcot Marie-Tooth disease--a chronic, invalidating neuromuscular disease which primarily affects peripheral nerves. There is currently no approved treatment for the condition, which affects about three million people.

The potential compounds were developed using Pharnext's pleotherapy, a technology platform which is designed to develop new therapies from mixtures of off-patent drugs which have been approved for other diseases. In addition to Charcot Marie-Tooth disease, Pharnext is using the technology to explore treatments for "Alzheimer's disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, multiple sclerosis, schizophrenia and inherited disorders including cystic fibrosis, Duchenne muscular dystrophy and Down syndrome," according to BioWorld.

Pharnext will be responsible for developing drug candidates for Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease until completion of Phase II clinical trials. From there, Ipsen will complete development of the drug and market it in Europe, the United States, China and other territories where Pharnext retains exclusive rights. Ipsen acquires an exclusive option on Pharnext's programme on the Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease and subscribes to the issuing of convertible bonds. In case the option is exercised at the end of a positive Phase II clinical trial, Ipsen will pay Pharnext up to €91 million ($126 million) as well as double-digit royalties on sales, and will have the opportunity to convert its bonds into Pharnext shares.

"Pharnext Pleotherapy may enable the development of novel innovative treatments for debilitating diseases with unmet medical needs, and high patient expectations," Ispen's Stéphane Thiroloix said in a release. "We are pleased to support Pharnext's innovation focus, in the therapeutic field of neurology."

- here's the release
- read the BioWorld report

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