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GSK enters licensing deal for ARDS enzyme

Apeiron has granted GSK exclusive rights to its APN01 enzyme, in phase I development to treat Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome

Apeiron Biologics has granted GlaxoSmithKline(GSK) exclusive rights to the Austrian company's APN01 enzyme, currently in phase I development to treat Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS).

The deal will see GSK pay Apeiron an up-front payment of £11m cash and equity investment. In addition, Apeiron will receive royalties on net sales. Should the enzyme go on to be launched for multiple indications, GSK would be liable for up to £207m in milestone payments.

Hans Loibner, CEO of Apeiron, said: "We are very pleased that we could attract GSK, one of the world's top pharmaceutical companies, to license this exciting project. I am convinced that Apeiron's know-how in this area, together with the extensive development and marketing capabilities of GSK, are the best way forward to bring an innovative therapy to patients worldwide."

Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS) is an acute, severe injury to the lungs associated with a variety of conditions, such as sepsis, aspiration of acidic gastric contents, trauma, postoperative complications, acute pancreatitis, and pneumonias eg due to infections with human influenza viruses. Currently, no effective drugs exist to treat ARDS, which has a mortality rate of 30 to 50 per cent.

3rd February 2010

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