DIJON, France--ONCODESIGN (Paris:ALONC) (Alternext - ALONC) announced today that it has successfully reached a major milestone in its joint discovery collaboration with UCB that applies to Oncodesign's Nanocyclix®technology on a kinase target selected by UCB. This collaboration was initiated in October 2013 and aims to leverage the respective expertise of Oncodesign and UCB to bring innovative therapeutic solutions to patients suffering from neurological disorders.
Nanocyclix® is Oncodesign's proprietary medicinal chemistry technology based on small molecule macrocyclisation that provides solutions to some of the biggest challenges in kinase inhibitor research i.e. providing access to potent and highly selective kinase inhibitors that can readily cross the Blood-Brain-Barrier.
Under the terms of the agreement, UCB will now obtain worldwide development and commercialization rights to the compounds. In addition to the technology access fee, Oncodesign is also eligible to receive further research funding, potential product-related development, regulatory and commercial milestone payments, as well as tiered royalties.
"In just over a year, the progress achieved in our early research collaboration has convinced UCB to take a full license on the program and enter into an additional multi-year research program. We are very excited to continue our partnership which aims to bring innovative solutions for patients living with neurological diseases, which represents an area with high unmet need for a large patient population. Identifying inhibitors that are potent and selective - to avoid side effects for the intended chronic use - and that readily enter into the brain after oral application have been major challenges for many years in kinase research. The current license exercised by UCB further validates Nanocyclix as a "next generation" kinase inhibitor technology that allows to tackle kinases in notoriously difficult fields, said Jan Hoflack, Ph.D., Chief Scientific Officer of Oncodesign.
"Our collaboration with Oncodesign so far has been extremely positive, and this agreement was the natural next step," said Neil Weir, UCB's Head of Discovery Research. "Our discovery teams really look forward to working with Oncodesign even more closely in the coming months. Oncodesign's strong experience and expertise in kinase inhibitor research will undoubtedly help deepen our understanding in this crucial area and bring value to people suffering from severe neurological diseases".
"Reaching this milestone with UCB further establishes Oncodesign as a major player in kinase inhibitor drug discovery. Its shows the potential of our Nanocyclix technology to generate inhibitors for kinase targets that have remained intractable despite high therapeutic potential. It strengthens our strategy of early partnering in fields outside of oncology. This, together with our internal focus on innovative programs against cancer, constitutes a strong basis for addressing major unmet need in patients and value creation", concluded Philippe Genne, Ph.D., Chief executive Officer and President of Oncodesign.
UCB, Brussels, Belgium (www.ucb.com) is a global biopharmaceutical company focused on the discovery and development of innovative medicines and solutions to transform the lives of people living with severe diseases of the immune system or of the central nervous system. With more than 8500 people in approximately 40 countries, the company generated revenue of € 3.3 billion in 2014. UCB is listed on Euronext Brussels (symbol: UCB).
About ONCODESIGN: www.oncodesign.com
Founded 20 years ago by Dr. Philippe Genne, the Company's CEO and Chairman, ONCODESIGN is a biotechnology company that maximizes the pharmaceutical industry's chances of success in discovering new therapeutic molecules to fight cancer and other serious illnesses with no known efficient treatment. Backed by unique experience acquired through more than 600 clients, including the world's largest pharmaceutical companies, and relying on a comprehensive technological platform combining state-of-the-art medicinal chemistry, advanced animal modeling and medical imaging, ONCODESIGN is able to predict and identify for every molecule, very upstream, its therapeutic use and its potential to become an efficient drug. Applied to kinase inhibitors, molecules that represent a market estimated at over 40 billion dollars in 2016 and accounting for almost 25% of the pharmaceutical industry's R&D investments, ONCODESIGN's technology has already enabled the targeting of 7 promising molecules with substantial therapeutic potential, in oncology and elsewhere, and the signing of partnerships, potentially worth €350 million in upfront payments should predefined milestones be reached, with pharmaceutical groups Sanofi, Ipsen and UCB. Based in Dijon, France, in the heart of the town's university and hospital hub, ONCODESIGN has 75 staff.