MindImmune Licenses Preclinical Drug Discovery Programs from Lundbeck
Will Develop Novel Therapeutics to Treat Neuropathic Pain and Huntington’s Disease
Kingston, R.I., May 22, 2018 – MindImmune Therapeutics, Inc. and H. Lundbeck A/S(Lundbeck) today announced agreements through which MindImmune acquires from Lundbeck programs against two neuroinflammation targets, P2X7 receptors and KMO, a key enzyme in the neuroimmune kynurenine-signaling pathway. MindImmune will advance candidates from these programs as novel therapeutics to treat neuropathic pain and Huntington’s disease, respectively. Under the terms of the agreement, Lundbeck receives an equity interest in MindImmune. Lundbeck will also receive milestone payments and royalties for both programs according to their progression
Neuropathic pain resulting from nerve damage affects approximately 7-8% of the general population. Human genetic data and preclinical observations indicate that activation of immune cells by P2X7 receptors in the central nervous system is an underlying cause of this chronic, poorly treated condition. MindImmune is advancing a P2X7 receptor antagonist to block this neuroinflammatory process and provide a much-needed treatment for neuropathic pain.
Huntington’s disease is an inherited neurodegenerative disorder characterized by progressive cognitive dysfunction with movement abnormalities, starting in late middle age and resulting in early death. This devastating disease, which impacts 5-10 of every 100,000 persons worldwide, has few treatments with none that affect the course of the disease. Compelling preclinical and clinical evidence indicates that derangement of the neuroimmune kynurenine signaling pathway contributes to the brain damage underlying Huntington’s disease. MindImmune is advancing KMO inhibitors to dampen this neuroinflammatory process and slow or prevent the progressive deterioration of patients suffering Huntington’s disease.
The programs acquired from Lundbeck complement MindImmune’s ongoing program to target neuroinflammation to halt progression of Alzheimer’s disease and other neuro-degenerative disorders.
“We greatly appreciate the confidence Lundbeck has shown in MindImmune,” said Stevin Zorn, Ph.D., President and CEO of MindImmune. “We are committed to driving these programs forward and bringing product candidates into the clinic with the potential to transform the lives of patients with chronic neuropathic pain and Huntington’s disease.”
”Lundbeck focuses on treatments for depression, schizophrenia, Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease, so we are pleased to divest these two promising programs that falls outside our focus areas in line with our strategy. This agreement ensures the continued development of the programs building on our research and hopefully leading to new and better treatments for patients”, said Kim Andersen, Senior Vice President, Research, at Lundbeck.
“Recent progress at MindImmune is highly encouraging,” stated Richard G. Horan, a director at MindImmune representing the Slater Technology Fund, a founding investor. “This is the second pharma partnering transaction announced this year, adding two development programs with which our founding scientists have been deeply involved. Together with other efforts in neuroinflammation, they strengthen the broader drug discovery strategy being pursued.”
About MindImmune Therapeutics, Inc.
MindImmune is an emerging pharmaceutical company at the forefront of recognizing the opportunities in targeting the immune system to treat brain disease. The company was founded in 2016 by Stevin Zorn, Ph.D., Frank Menniti, Ph.D., Robert Nelson, Ph.D., and Brian Campbell, Ph.D., to capitalize on the emerging science around the critical role of the immune system in maintaining brain health and in treating brain disease. The company is based at the University of Rhode Island, and is affiliated with the George & Anne Ryan Institute for Neuroscience,a multidisciplinary research center focused on discovering and developing disease-modifying therapies for neurodegenerative disorders.
About H. Lundbeck A/S
Lundbeckis a global pharmaceutical company committed to improving the quality of life of people living with psychiatric and neurological disorders. Lundbeck is engaged in the research, development, production, marketing and sale of pharmaceuticals worldwide, with products targeted at diseases such as depression, schizophrenia, Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease. Lundbeck employs approximately 5,000 people worldwide, with approximately 900 employed in the U.S. In 2017, Lundbeck generated aggregate revenues of DKK 17.2 billion, equivalent to approximately $2.8 billion USD.