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Roche, reMYND sign 500 million euro Alzheimer, Parkinson pact

Daily News | September 07, 2010

Kevin Grogan

Roche, reMYND sign 500 million euro Alzheimer, Parkinson pact

Roche has linked up with Belgium's reMYND to develop therapeutics that could slow down neurodegeneration in Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s patients.

Specifically, the collaboration will focus on two of reMYND’s pre-clinical small molecule programmes targeting alpha-synuclein and tau related pathologies. The companies say that the compounds are unique because they inhibit α-synuclein and tau neurotoxicity in Parkinson's and Alzheimer's, respectively and as such they are considered disease-modifying, "whilst most currently available treatments only treat the symptoms of the disease".

Cashwise, reMYND, which is a spin-off company of Leuven University, could receive over half a billion euros in milestone payments, as well as double-digit royalties.

Commenting on the agreement, Luca Santarelli, head of Roche CNS said the addition of these programmes "strengthens and complements our existing research". He added: "We believe that they offer a unique approach to combat Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease".

Koen De Witte, managing director of reMYND said that the Alzheimer’s tau programme "represents perhaps a greater potential as it addresses one of the most fundamental aspects of the disease". He added that there is a strong fit between both companies "because we both have a strong biology-driven approach and aim for first-in-class treatments".

Mr De Witte concluded by saying that "Roche’s expertise in diagnostics will be crucial for maximising the chances of success along the long path of clinical development”. 

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