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Pfizer acquires option to license potential Parkinson’s treatment

Medgenesis cuts exclusive deal for its GDNF treatment

Pfizer headquartersPfizer has acquired global rights to Medgenesis Therapeutix's potential Parkinson's disease treatment and technology platform.

The Canadian biopharma company's glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) protein and convection enhanced delivery (CED) technology will be used in research to find a cure for the progressive neurological condition.

Michael Ehlers, senior VP of the neuroscience research unit at Pfizer, said: “We believe that this collaboration with MedGenesis has the potential to provide the first disease-modifying treatment that slows the progressive decline in patients, consistent with our commitment to making a difference in areas of high unmet medical need."

MedGenesis is currently running a proof of concept study with the GDNF and CED technology. Under the terms of the agreement, MedGenesis will receive an upfront option fee and upon action on the option by Pfizer, will be eligible for further royalty and milestone payments.

Dr Erich Mohr, CEO and chairman of MedGenesis, said: “We believe that delivering drugs, including proteins, precisely to the regions of the brain where they are required will allow the potential for better treatments for a whole range of central nervous system (CNS) disease and opens up the opportunity for the potential development of truly disease-modifying treatments of neurological diseases."

The drug's progression owes much to Parkinson's UK after the charity worked alongside corporate and charity partners to reignite research into GDNF after early trials which, while showing therapeutic promise, required more support and funding.

Steve Ford, chief executive at Parkinson's UK, said: “"By providing funding when industry opted not to undertake further research, we've breathed life back into a drug which had been shelved for many years.

"We are delighted Pfizer has recognised the potential of GDNF and are backing what could be a serious game-changer in the treatment of Parkinson's. We believe GDNF may hold the key to stop Parkinson's progressing, something which no existing treatment can do.”

One person in every 500, approximately 127,000 in the UK, has Parkinson's and there is currently no cure.

Article by
Kirstie Pickering

18th September 2014

From: Research

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