U.K.-based trial services co Ergomed (LON: ERGO) has penned a deal with Swedish biotech Asarina Pharma for its Phase IIb trial of sepranolone in patients with premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD).
Ergomed will run the multicenter, multinational midstage test, which is slated to kick off in 2017. The contract trial co, which often shares the risks and rewards of R&D with its clients, said that it will co-invest into the trial in return for an equity stake in Asarina, although exact financial terms were not disclosed.
Sepranolone is a first-in-class endogenous small molecule that acts as a GABA-A modulating steroid antagonist and is, according to the biotech, the first product developed exclusively for PMDD.
Dr. Miroslav Reljanovic, CEO of Ergomed, said: “We are delighted to be the co-development partner for Asarina as it embarks upon its Phase IIb clinical trial programme for Sepranolone which has the potential to be a first-in-class therapy for this serious disease. This further expands the number of pipeline opportunities where we share in the potential upside as a drug is successfully developed through leveraging our expertise and experience in providing clinical trial services to support such development.”
Peter Nordkild, CEO of Asarina, added: “We are pleased to announce our partnership with Ergomed to conduct our Phase IIb study for Sepranolone. Premenstrual dysphoric disorder is very debilitating for women who suffer from this disorder. We believe Ergomed is an excellent partner to help us advance this innovative therapy through the clinic and look forward to working with the team.”
The CRO, which has a market cap of around $54 million, has been helping a number of biotechs, including a Phase III with Cel-Sci ($CVM), Synta Pharmaceuticals ($SNTA) and Aeterna Zentaris ($AEZS), as well as earlier stage work with Ferrer. It was up 1.5% on Wednesday.