Castres, France & Geneva, Switzerland 8 September 2015 – Addex Therapeutics (SIX: ADXN), a leading company pioneering allosteric modulation-based drug discovery and development, announced today that it has granted an option to license its metabotropic glutamate receptor subtype 3 ("mGlu3 receptor") program to Pierre Fabre Pharmaceuticals, a laboratory with a proven track-record in discovering, developing and marketing products in the field of Central Nervous System (CNS).
"This agreement confirms our strong and continued interest in the CNS field to develop therapies addressing critical global health problems", commented Laurent Audoly, Head of Pierre Fabre Pharmaceuticals R&D, "Pierre Fabre is committed to developing such early stage collaborations to capitalise on its long-standing preclinical and clinical experience in the CNS field to create value and win-win scenarios with our partners."
"We are enthusiastic to initiate this collaboration with Addex, one of the world's leaders in allosteric modulator drug discovery", said Alexander Scheer, Associate Research Director at Pierre Fabre Pharmaceuticals. "Addex allosteric modulator discovery platform has demonstrated its unique capabilities to discover innovative first in class compounds."
"We are delighted to be working with Pierre Fabre and their CNS discovery group which has a strong track record in CNS drug discovery," said Robert Lütjens, Head of Discovery of Addex. "mGlu3 receptor represents an exciting novel target and we look forward to rapidly advancing this program."
"This agreement represents a strong validation of our discovery platform and highlights the value of Addex' proprietary expertise in allosteric modulator drug discovery," said Tim Dyer, CEO of Addex. "This agreement is another example of our strategy to advance our preclinical programs through collaboration with industry."
Using its proprietary allosteric modulator discovery platform, Addex has been able to identify unique mGlu3 receptor positive and negative allosteric modulators. These compounds, although still at an early stage, represent excellent starting points for chemical optimisation, and have a great potential to become first-in-class molecules useful for the treatment of CNS disorders involving an imbalance in mGlu3 receptor signalling. Under the terms of the agreement, Pierre Fabre will conduct chemistry, pharmacology and ADME*, while Addex will support the project with its proprietary in vitro pharmacological assay platform. Financial terms of the agreement have not been disclosed.
About mGlu3 Receptor
mGlu3 receptor is part of the metabotropic glutamate receptor family, a group of eight G protein-coupled receptors involved in modulation of glutamatergic neurotransmission. Expression of mGlu3 receptors is high in pyramidal cells in the prefrontal cortex and neocortical regions, as well as in astrocytes and oligodendrocytes. So far, industry was able to find only orthosteric compounds acting as mGlu3 receptor agonists or antagonists, but all of these compounds suffer from poor selectivity versus other mGlu receptors, and in particular versus mGlu2 receptor. Targeting the allosteric site of mGlu3 receptor provides a unique approach to find subtype selective compounds, and will allow a focused strategy to modulate specifically those pathways involving the mGlu3 receptor. In particular, scientific evidence suggests astroglial mGlu3 receptor activation leads to neuroprotection, through modulation of glutamate excitotoxicity and glutamate transport, neurotrophin production and reduction of oxidative damage, pointing to the potential utility of mGlu3 PAMs for neurodegenerative disease such as Alzheimer's or Parkinson's diseases. Blocking the receptor on the other hand appears to offer the potential to treat schizophrenia, depression or pain afflictions such as migraine. Both modes of action appear to represent novel avenues for developing therapies for central nervous system disorders.
About Addex Therapeutics
Addex Therapeutics (www.addextherapeutics.com) is a biopharmaceutical company focused on the development of novel, orally available, small molecule allosteric modulators for central nervous system disorders. Addex lead drug candidate, dipraglurant (mGlu5 negative allosteric modulator or NAM) has successfully completed a Phase 2A POC in Parkinson's disease levodopa-induced dyskinesia (PD-LID), and is being prepared to enter Phase 2B for PD-LID. In parallel, dipraglurant's therapeutic use in dystonia and treatment resistant depression is being investigated. Addex second clinical program, ADX71149 (mGlu2 positive allosteric modulator or PAM) is being developed in collaboration with Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Addex also has several preclinical programs including : ADX71441 (GABAB receptor PAM) which has received regulatory approval to start Phase 1 and is being investigated for therapeutic use in Charcot-Marie-Tooth (Type 1A) disease, alcohol use disorder and nicotine dependence ; mGlu4PAM for drug abuse and dependence, Parkinson's disease and other neurodegenerative diseases ; mGlu2NAM for treatment resistant depression and cognitive deficits ; mGlu7NAM for psychosomatic disorders, TrkBPAM for neurodegenerative disorders ; and GLP1PAM for type 2 diabetes. Allosteric modulators are an emerging class of small molecule drugs which have the potential to be more specific and confer significant therapeutic advantages over conventional "orthosteric" small molecule or biological drugs. Addex allosteric modulator drug discovery platform targets receptors and other proteins that are recognized as essential for therapeutic intervention – the Addex pipeline was generated from this pioneering allosteric modulator drug discovery platform.
About Pierre Fabre:
Pierre Fabre is the 3rd largest French pharmaceutical group and the 2nd largest dermo-cosmetics laboratory in the world. In 2014, its sales reached €2.1 Billion, with revenues in dermo-cosmetics accounting for 55% and international sales for 55%. Founded and its headquarters still based in the South-west of France, Pierre Fabre currently has branches in 44 countries and distribution agreements in over 130 countries.
Covering a continuum of healthcare products, from prescription drugs and consumer health care products (family care, oral care, natural health) to dermo-cosmetics, Pierre Fabre Laboratories employ over 10,000 people worldwide. In 2014, Pierre Fabre dedicated more than 17% of its drug revenues to R&D focusing on 4 therapeutic areas: oncology, dermatology, central nervous system (Fetzima©, Ixel©, Savella©) and consumer health care.
With brands such as Eau Thermale Avène, Klorane, Ducray, René Furterer, A-Derma, Galénic, Naturactive, Elgydium, Eludril or Drill, Pierre Fabre Laboratories are market leaders when it comes to skin, hair and oral care products distributed in the French pharmacy channel. Eau Thermale Avène is marketed worldwide, and is the leading dermo-cosmetics brand sold in Europe, Japan and China. In oncology, Pierre Fabre achieves 90% of its revenues outside of its home country.
Through the Pierre Fabre Participations holding company, the Pierre Fabre Foundation, a government-recognized public-interest foundation, owns 86% of Pierre Fabre Laboratories. Remaining shares are owned by company employees, amounting to 7,3 %, and through treasury stock.
The French certification group AFNOR has audited Pierre Fabre Laboratories for its corporate social responsibility (CSR) performance at advanced level (AFAQ 26 000)
To find out more, please visit www.pierre-fabre.com