XTL snags schizophrenia drug in exclusive licensing pact

XTL Biopharmaceuticals ($XTLB) has struck an interesting deal to land a badly-needed late-stage therapy for its pipeline. The company gained an exclusive license for all the technology on hand at Israel's MinoGuard. The developer has completed a Phase IIa study for its lead drug, which targets schizophrenia.

The drug--SAM-101, a combination of anti-psychotics and a known compound--was developed from the research work of Prof. Yechiel Levkovitz and Dr. Shlomo Mendlovic at the Shalvata Mental Health Center. XTL, which has had its share of pipeline trouble, now owes undisclosed milestones and a royalty stream for the in-licensed drug. And XTL CEO David Grossman says that XTL plans more of these deals. Back in late 2008 shares of XTL were almost wiped out after its lead drug failed a mid-stage trial. Its shares last traded at 40 cents.

"The acquisition of MinoGuard would be in line with the company's strategy to focus on late-stage clinical development drugs and treatments with a known safety profile, which address large markets with clear unmet clinical needs," says Grossman.

- read the XTL release
- here's the Globes report