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Date: 2010-08-04
Biotech partner: Proximagen (UK) BrainCells (USA)
Type of agreement: * other
Compound: Sabcomeline (muscarinic partial agonist)
Disease area: Psychiatric and neurologic disorders
Development phase: Sabcomeline has been shown to be safe and well tolerated in more than 3,000 patients. It has been studied in six Phase 3 efficacy studies in Alzheimer’s disease and two Phase 2 efficacy studies in schizophrenia. BrainCells 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.
Nature of the agreement: Accords
Proximagen has concluded a sale and purchase agreement with BrainCells for the sabcomeline programme. BrainCells will now own the worldwide rights to this muscarinic agent and will be responsible for the clinical development, regulatory filing and commercialisation of the drug candidate.
In its evaluation of muscarinic agents as a novel approach to treat depression and cognition, BrainCells has already determined sabcomeline is highly neurogenic in vitro and active in several animal behavioral models. When sabcomeline was combined with an on-market serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) in animal behavioral models measuring effects on mood and cognition, it showed strong activity and increased neurogenesis, suggesting that there is a synergistic response.

Financial terms of the agreement: BrainCells will pay Proximagen an up-front fee and milestone payments together worth up to $51 million, as well as a royalty on sales.
The agreement transfers from Proximagen to BrainCells the rights and obligations under the sabcomeline development and licence agreement signed between Minster and SmithKline Beecham plc, now GSK in April 2001. Consequently, BrainCells is now entirely responsible for future milestone and royalty payments due to GSK under the April 2001 agreement.

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