METHYLGENE AND OTSUKA PHARMACEUTICAL CO. LTD. EXTEND FUNDED RESEARCH COLLABORATION

 METHYLGENE AND OTSUKA PHARMACEUTICAL CO. LTD. EXTEND FUNDED RESEARCH COLLABORATION


MethylGene and Otsuka to continue development of proprietary
kinase inhibitors for ocular diseases

 

Montreal, Quebec.  September 9, 2009 - MethylGene Inc. (TSX: MYG) announced that Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd. has extended its funded research collaboration with MethylGene for the development of  novel, small molecule, kinase inhibitors for the local delivery and treatment of ocular diseases, excluding cancer, for an additional six months.  As part of the collaboration that was initially formed in March 2008, MethylGene received a US$2 million upfront license fee and may be eligible to receive additional payments based on the successful development, regulatory, commercialization and sales milestones that could total US$50.5 million. MethylGene will also receive royalties on net sales of any resulting product.

 

With the extension, Otsuka will provide an additional US$625,000 to MethylGene in research funding for the six-month period ending March 2010. Otsuka also maintains its right to further extend the collaboration beyond this incremental six-month period. In addition, Otsuka will make a US$1.5 million equity investment in MethylGene, per the terms of the original agreement, by the end of October.

 

MethylGene will continue to design, synthesize, characterize and screen kinase inhibitors and Otsuka will fund efficacy and toxicology studies, as well as the preclinical and clinical development of compounds. To date, the collaboration efforts have led to the identification of lead compounds for ocular diseases that have demonstrated efficacy and safety in various in vivo models. The extended collaboration will focus on the identification of optimized leads and additional leads with potentially enhanced properties. Otsuka will provide additional assistance in the scale-up of selected compounds and preclinical development in multiple in vivo settings for both efficacy and safety. Otsuka remains solely responsible for the clinical development and global commercialization of any resulting product.

 

"We are pleased Otsuka has extended our productive collaborative research effort," said Donald F. Corcoran, President and Chief Executive Officer of MethylGene Inc. "Our ability to develop kinase inhibitors for use in treatments beyond cancer demonstrates MethylGene's strength in this growing field of research. We look forward to continuing to provide Otsuka with potent kinase inhibitors with the goal of identifying a clinical candidate."

 

About MethylGene

 

MethylGene Inc. (TSX: MYG) is a publicly-traded, clinical stage, biopharmaceutical company focused on the discovery, development and commercialization of novel therapeutics with a focus on cancer. The Company's product candidates include: MGCD265, an oral, multi-targeted kinase inhibitor targeting the c-Met, VEGF, Ron and Tie-2 receptor tyrosine kinases that is in Phase II clinical trials for cancers; MGCD290, a fungal Hos2 (HDAC) inhibitor being developed for use in combination with fluconazole for serious fungal infections that is in Phase I clinical studies; and MGCD0103, an oral, isoform-selective HDAC inhibitor which has been in multiple clinical trials for solid tumors and hematological malignancies and is licensed to Taiho Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd. A fourth compound discovered using MethylGene's HDAC platform, EVP-0334 - a potential cognition enhancing agent, is in a Phase I study sponsored by EnVivo Pharmaceuticals Inc. MethylGene also has a funded collaboration with Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd. for applications in ocular diseases using the Company's proprietary kinase inhibitor chemistry. Please visit our website at www.methylgene.com.


 

Investor Relations Contacts:

 

 

Rhonda Chiger
Rx Communications Group, LLC
Phone: 917-322-2569
[email protected]

 

Donald F. Corcoran
President & CEO
MethylGene Inc.
Phone: 514-337-3333 ext. 373
[email protected]

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