Servier, an independent international pharmaceutical company, and Oncodesign, a French biopharmaceutical company, announce reaching an important milestone in their strategic partnership on research and development of potential drug candidates for Parkinson’s Disease.
In March 2019, Servier and Oncodesign entered into a research and development partnership involving the LRRK2 kinase inhibitors derived from Oncodesign’s proprietary Nanocyclix platform, and their potential to act as therapeutic agents against Parkinson’s Disease. The partnership drew on the complementary expertise of Servier and Oncodesign in the fields of neurodegenerative diseases and macrocyclic kinase inhibitors.
Both companies today announce having reached a first important milestone in the program. Next steps, which are subject to further milestone payments, will validate the Nanocyclix platform to have the potential to deliver small molecule drugs as therapeutics against Parkinson’s Disease. Oncodesign receives a first success payment in the program of €1M. Over the life of the partnership, Servier could pay Oncodesign up to €320M ($360M) in milestones payments, excluding royalties. In addition, Oncodesign receives approximately €3M in annual funding during the research phase of the project.
Philippe Genne, Ph.D., CEO and founder of Oncodesign, said: “Following the selection a few weeks ago of our first candidate drug inhibitor of RIPK2, this is very good news coming from our strategic collaboration with Servier. The collaboration works perfectly and both teams are up to the challenges. The results were obtained sooner than expected which allowed us to reach our first milestone several months in advance, showing more than ever the important mastery of the Nanocyclix chemistry by our teams. We are very honored to collaborate successfully with Servier.”
Jan Hoflack, PhD, Scientific Director at Oncodesign, added: “Reaching this first important milestone in such a challenging program speaks to the potential of the Nanocyclix series of molecules that we pursue: their potency and selectivity within very small molecular weight compounds are ideal assets for this difficult CNS program. It also speaks to the highly collaborative approach between Servier and Oncodesign, with joint expert teams that act in a very agile and open way to make rapid progress. The next phase of the program is again a difficult challenge, but we are all aligned to further advance this research for the future benefit of patients.”
Christophe Thurieau, Executive Director, Servier Research Institute, said: “We are very pleased with the rapid progress we have made together with Oncodesign in this collaborative program, with a very efficient and dynamic joint team, and look forward to continuing success over the coming years to reach our common goal of bringing a new treatment for patients who suffer from the scourge of Parkinson’s Disease.”
About Parkinson’s Disease
Parkinson’s Disease (PD), the most common neurodegenerative movement disorder, affects approximately 6.3 million people worldwide. Clinical features include bradykinesia, rigidity, and tremor, commonly named motor symptoms. PD is characterized by progressive loss of dopaminergic neurons and accumulation of ?-synuclein protein in the brain. Only dopamine replacement therapy, which compensates for dopamine neuronal loss, reduces with some efficacy motor symptoms in PD patients, but does not stop or slow the neurodegenerative process. At present, there are no proven neuroprotective or neurorestorative therapies. Disease modification is thus the most important objective in PD research & development today.
About the LRRK2 target
Although PD is regarded as a sporadic disorder with no clearly identified origin, LRRK2 mutations are associated with the highest risk of familial PD, and increased levels of LRRK2 are also observed in sporadic patients. Pathological characteristics and clinical symptoms are indistinguishable between sporadic patients and patients with familial disease and LRRK2 mutations. LRRK2 is a multidomain protein which contains a core region with both GTPase and kinase enzymatic activities where most pathogenic mutations are located. LRRK2 inhibition represents a potential neuroprotective and disease-modifying therapeutic principle for the treatment of PD.
Servier is an international pharmaceutical company governed by a non-profit foundation, with its headquarters in France (Suresnes). With a strong international presence in 149 countries and a turnover of 4.2 billion euros in 2018, Servier employs 22 000 people worldwide. Entirely independent, the Group reinvests 25% of its turnover (excluding generics) in research and development and uses all its profits for development. Corporate growth is driven by Servier’s constant search for innovation in five areas of excellence: cardiovascular, immune-inflammatory and neurodegenerative diseases, cancer and diabetes, as well as by its activities in high-quality generic drugs. Servier also offers eHealth solutions beyond drug development.
More information: servier.com