PROXIMAGEN GROUP PLC
("Proximagen" or "the Company")
Proximagen signs Sale and Purchase Agreement for sabcomeline
London, UK, 4 August 2010 - Proximagen Group plc (AIM: PRX), the biotechnology company focused on diseases of the central nervous system, today announces that it has signed a Sale and Purchase Agreement (the "Agreement") with BrainCells Inc. ("BCI") for Proximagen's sabcomeline programme. Under the terms of the Agreement, BCI will pay Proximagen an up-front fee and milestone payments together worth up to $51 million, as well as a royalty on sales. Proximagen had acquired sabcomeline in February 2010 through its acquisition of Minster Pharmaceuticals plc ("Minster").
Under the terms of the Agreement, BCI will own the worldwide rights to sabcomeline and will be responsible for the clinical development, regulatory filing and commercialisation of the drug candidate. The Agreement transfers from Proximagen to BCI the rights and obligations under the sabcomeline development and licence agreement signed between Minster and SmithKline Beecham plc (subsequently GlaxoSmithKline, "GSK") in April 2001. Consequently, BCI is now entirely responsible for future milestone and royalty payments due to GSK under the April 2001 agreement.
Sabcomeline, a muscarinic partial agonist, has been shown to be safe and well-tolerated in over 3,000 patients. BCI plans to initiate a Phase 2 clinical trial to evaluate sabcomeline as augmentation to SSRIs for the treatment of patients with major depressive disorder. Improvements in cognitive function will also be measured.
Commenting on the Agreement, Kenneth Mulvany, Chief Executive Officer of Proximagen, said: "We are delighted that BrainCells will be taking on the development of sabcomeline and we look forward to it achieving clinical success under BrainCells's ownership. Proximagen's focus is on neurological conditions, primarily Parkinson's disease, epilepsy, cognition and pain, and it therefore makes strategic sense for us to divest sabcomeline, a drug programme developed for neuropsychiatric indications, to BrainCells, a company with particular expertise in neurogenesis and neuropsychiatric disorders. With the signing of this Agreement, we will have partnered both Minster programmes within six months of the acquisition of Minster, retaining the EU rights for tonabersat and an economic interest in sabcomeline through future milestone payments and royalties. Both are good examples of our flexibility towards the development of programmes and our desire to balance financial and scientific risk."