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Boehringer Ingelheim announces exclusive agreement with Arena Pharmaceuticals
INGELHEIM, Germany & SAN DIEGO—Boehringer Ingelheim and Arena Pharmaceuticals, Inc. have struck up an exclusive agreement to conduct joint research to identify drug candidates targeting an undisclosed G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) belonging to the group of orphan central nervous system (CNS) receptor. An “orphan” receptor is structurally related to a family of proteins that are known to act as functional cell-surface receptors but whose ligand has not yet been identified.
“Together with our research partners in neuroscience, we are targeting brain circuits underlying major untreated symptom domains in our CNS focus areas of Alzheimer’s disease, schizophrenia, and depression. We are delighted to enter into this new collaboration with Arena, who have recognized expertise in orphan CNS GPCR drug discovery and development,” said Clive R. Wood, corporate senior vice president and head of Discovery Research at Boehringer Ingelheim. “We believe that this alliance with Arena will allow us to deliver innovative, new medicines for the treatment of patients with psychiatric diseases such as schizophrenia and contribute to our vision of helping the millions of people with mental illness, to live fuller, more independent lives, for longer.”
The agreement stipulates that Boehringer Ingelheim will receive exclusive rights to Arena's internally discovered, novel compounds and intellectual property for an orphan CNS receptor. The partners will jointly conduct research to identify additional drug candidates that suitable for continued research and development as therapeutic compounds for various disease indications. Boehringer Ingelheim will have exclusive worldwide rights to develop, manufacture and commercialize products that result from this deal. In return, Arena stands to receive payments up to $262 million in success milestones in case of full commercial success of multiple drug products, as well as an upfront payment and research funding. The company is also eligible for tiered royalties on future sales of any products resulting from this agreement.
“This agreement reflects our new corporate focus to enter into collaboration opportunities at various stages of development,” Harry F. Hixson, Jr., Arena’s interim CEO, remarked in a press release. “Collaborations are an essential part of our drug discovery and development efforts, so we are pleased to be part of this shared goal to identify novel drugs targeting an orphan CNS receptor with Boehringer Ingelheim, who possesses demonstrated capabilities in research, development, manufacturing, and marketing of pharmaceutical products.”
Arena brings with it expertise in GPCR-focused drug discovery and development, while Boehringer Ingelheim offers proven capabilities in bringing novel medications to the market in areas of high unmet need.
The World Health Organization reports that mental illness, along with substance abuse disorders, represents the leading cause of disability worldwide, with at least 450 million people suffering from mental health issues. The global economic burden is larger than that of cancer, cardiovascular disease or diabetes, and is still growing.
SOURCE: Boehringer Ingelheim press release