PARIS, France, January 6
- Early Renewal of the Agreement to Extend the Collaboration UntilDecember 2011
- Expansion of the Scope of the Collaboration to Include AntibodyDiscovery in Ophthalmology
- Revised Commercial Terms and Payments to ExonHit if AllerganSublicenses to a Third Party
ExonHit Therapeutics (Alternext: ALEHT) today announced a reinforcementof its existing drug discovery collaboration with Allergan Sales, LLC (NYSE:AGN). The collaboration is extended until December 2011, includes antibodydiscovery within the scope of the research activities and encompasses revisedcommercial terms.
The collaboration which has been renewed several times and initiated inDecember 2002 focuses on the identification, development andcommercialization of drugs for the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases,pain and ophthalmology. EHT/AGN 0001, the most advanced compound out of thecollaboration, is currently ending Phase I clinical trials for painindications. EHT/AGN 0002 and other compounds are in pre-clinical testing forindications in pain, ophthalmology or neurodegenerative diseases.
Allergan exercised its option to extend this collaboration until December2011 earlier than anticipated. As part of the renewal agreement, Allerganwill provide ExonHit with increased quarterly research funding instead of asingle payment.
The scope of the collaboration is expanded to include epitope* discoveryfor the development of antibody therapeutics in ocular disorders. ExonHit'sunique gene profiling technology can readily be applied to identify diseasespecific target proteins, but also pinpoints novel epitopes present in thoseproteins, which are produced via alternative splicing. ExonHit's approachoffers the potential benefit of identifying epitopes that are particularlydisease specific, thus enabling the discovery of safer drugs with fewer sideeffects. In addition, such epitopes may provide the opportunity to create newintellectual property, even in more heavily investigated areas.
"We are very pleased to expand further our successful and longstandingcollaboration with Allergan. We believe that combining the capabilities ofour two organizations and enlarging both the research and commercial scopewill enhance our ability to create value for our shareholders," said LoicMaurel, CEO of ExonHit Therapeutics.
The agreement provides for revised commercial terms. It expandsAllergan's rights when sublicensing compounds discovered in the course of thecollaboration with ExonHit. In return, ExonHit will receive from Allerganupfront payments as well as payments linked to developmental milestones andsales achievements. ExonHit will also be paid royalties on future sales.
Detailed financial terms were not disclosed.
About ExonHit Therapeutics
ExonHit Therapeutics is the world's leader in the analysis of alternativeRNA splicing, a process which when deregulated plays a key role in the onsetof various diseases.
ExonHit Therapeutics has a multi-component commercial strategy to capturethe maximum value from its leadership in alternative splicing. The Company isalready generating revenues from a new generation of microarrays,SpliceArray(TM) family of products that enable life science researchers todetect crucial disease-associated information. These products are marketedworldwide in conjunction with Agilent and Affymetrix. In the field ofdiagnostics, ExonHit Therapeutics has a major collaboration with bioMerieuxto develop completely novel predictive blood-based cancer diagnostics, whichcould play a key role in improving the treatment of breast cancer and othermajor cancers.
In parallel, ExonHit Therapeutics is developing its own therapeuticpipeline in the field of neurodegenerative diseases and cancer. The Companyhas advanced drug candidates into clinical trials and is evaluating severalpromising pre-clinical compounds. ExonHit Therapeutics also has a strategicpartnership with Allergan, to discover and develop new therapeutics in theareas of pain, neurological diseases and ophthalmology. This collaborationprovides on-going research funding to ExonHit.
Founded in 1997, ExonHit is headquartered in Paris, France and has a U.S.facility in Gaithersburg, Maryland. The Company is listed on Alternext ofEuronext Paris (ISIN: FR0004054427; ticker: ALEHT) since November 17, 2005.For more information, please visit http://www.exonhit.com.
This press release includes only summary information and does not purportto be comprehensive. The projections, forecast and estimates of ExonHitTherapeutics which may be contained herein are for illustrative purposes onlyand are based on management's current views and assumptions. Suchprojections, forecast and estimates involve known and unknown risks anduncertainties, as described at Section 4.2 "Facteurs de risque" (RiskFactors) of the Document de Base available on ExonHit Therapeutics' website(http://www.exonhit.com), that may cause actual results, performance orevents to differ materially from those anticipated in the summary information.
In addition, ExonHit Therapeutics, its shareholders, and its affiliates,directors, officers, advisors and employees have not verified the accuracyof, and make no representations or warranties in relation to, statisticaldata or predictions contained in this press release that were taken orderived from third party sources or industry publications, and suchstatistical data and predictions are used in this press release forinformation purposes only.
Finally, this press release may be drafted in the French and Englishlanguages. In an event of differences between the texts, the French languageversion shall prevail.
* A localized region on the surface of an antigen that is capable ofeliciting an immune response and of combining with a specific antibody tocounter that response
SOURCE ExonHit Therapeutics SA