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Novosom acquires licence for CD40-targeted antisense inhibitors

This article was originally published in Scrip

Executive Summary

Novosom has obtained an exclusive, worldwide licence from Isis Pharmaceuticals to access certain antisense inhibitors targeting CD40 mRNA. The German company expects to finalise a formulation for use in inflammatory diseases, such as Crohn's disease, organ transplant complications or rheumatoid arthritis, where CD40 is a therapeutic target, in the next month or so, it told Scrip. It hopes to submit an IND in 2009 and start trials with the drug later that year or in 2010. The deal exercises an option agreement that the two companies signed in February 2007. Consequently Novosom will also have non-exclusive worldwide and sub-licensable access to some of Isis's core technology patents, including second-generation antisense chemistry. Isis will receive financial payments including an up-front exercise fee, milestone payments and royalties. Elias Papatheodorou, Novosom’s CEO, said that this was the third important step taken by the company; the first being a collaboration with ProNai Therapeutics in March 2007 to deliver DNAi-based cancer therapeutics and the second was the granting of US and European patents this May for its proprietary drug delivery technology Smarticles. Smarticles are fully charged reversible liposomes for the in vivo drug delivery of nucleotides like siRNA or antisense to targeted cells.

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