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UCB and Synosia sign Parkinson's disease alliance

World News | October 12, 2010


Kevin Grogan

UCB is linking up with Synosia Therapeutics in a neurology pact that could be worth up to $745 million to the Switzerland-headquartered firm.

Firstly, Synosia has granted UCB a license for exclusive, worldwide rights to SYN-115, an orally-bioavailable adenosine 2A (A2a) antagonist. The Basel-based privately-held group obtained rights to the latter from Roche in 2007 and is in Phase II for Parkinson's disease.

The Belgian drugmaker has also bagged the rights for non-orphan indications to a second compound, SYN-118 (nitisinone), which is also in Phase II for Parkinson’s. It is a 4 hydroxyphenyl-pyruvate dioxygenase inhibitor, marketed as Orfadin in the "non-competing indication" of hereditary tyrosinaemia by Swedish Orphan.

Under the financial terms of the agreement, UCB will make an equity investment of $20 million as part of a series C funding in Synosia, which in total raised $30 million. Synosia will also receive an undisclosed upfront fee and could receive potential regulatory and commercial milestone payments of up to $725 million across both compounds.

Ismail Kola, president of UCB's New Medicines unit, who will also join Synosia's board, said his firm has been impressed with the latter's development capabilities "and the possibility of expanding our alliance in the future". He added that "with access to these two potentially important new treatments for people living with movement disorders, UCB reinforces its intention to become the patient-centric biopharmaceutical leader in neurology and immunology.”

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