Thursday, January 03, 2008

Addex Ups Dealmaking Ante

Addex Pharma today took a step up the dealmaking ladder, partnering its pre-IND positive allosteric modulator ADX63365 and back-up compounds with Merck & Co. for $22 million upfront plus milestones and royalties. Addex can also opt to co-promote resulting products in certain EU countries.

63365 targets the metabotropic glutamate receptor 5 (mGluR5), which Addex says has shown antipsychotic properties improvement of cognitive dysfunction in preclinical studies.

The worldwide exclusive license deal comes on the heels of the two companies' $3 mllion up-front December pact, a discovery deal around positive allosteric modulation of a related receptor, mGluR4, which could lead to products to treat Parkinson's and other diseases. Addex inked an earlier discovery deal in 2005 with Johnson & Johnson around positive allosteric modulators of mGluR2.

Addex's allosteric modulators bind to sites on drug targets that are distinct from the target's active site, where endogenous ligands or conventional drugs bind, offering a variety of potential advantages. Positive allosteric modulators (PAMs) can potentiate the effects of endogenous ligands or conventional drugs, while negative allosteric modulators (NAMs), such as Addex's lead compound ADX10059, can dampen the effects of endogenous ligands (see above).

Enthusiasm for today's deal may be tempered a bit with news that ADX10059 did not reduce acute anticipatory anxiety in a small Phase IIa study in patients with dental anxiety, also announced this morning. Addex has previously reported successful Phase IIa results for 10059 in GERD and migraine, however, and the biotech aims to partner the candidate post-Phase IIb.

Ladder photo from Mayhem & Chaos Photo Blog used under creative commons license

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