UK drugmaker Vernalis has signed an agreement with Danish group Lundbeck giving the firm access to its fragment and structure-based drug discovery platform against a particular target that may have application in brain diseases.
Lundbeck will use Vernalis’ ‘state-of-the-art’ platform to discover candidates that inhibit the kinase target LRRK2, which the firm believes could have potential in the treatment of neurodegenerative indications such as Parkinson’s Disease.
Financial specifics of the alliance were not revealed but the deal is viewed as a positive move for Vernalis, which has confirmed that it stands to receive fees and will share in the “downstream success” of any products that make it to market.
“Lundbeck is a CNS specialist, and while deal terms are not disclosed, the collaboration provides further external endorsement of this platform and enables Vernalis to maintain its balanced investment in research (proprietary vs partner funded)”, note analysts at Edison Investment Research.
Last month the company said it intends to secure new research collaborations over the coming 18 months to fill its pipeline, which has been hit by a spate of disappointments this year.
The announcement came after another hole was left in the firm’s development portfolio with the death of its V3381 (indantadol) development programme. Vernalis confirmed it would no longer be investing money in V3381 after it failed to hit endpoints in a chronic cough study, just a few months after a disappointing performance in neuropathic pain due to diabetes.
The UK drugmaker’s share price was also dented back in July when it announced the end of the line for vipadenant, a drug it was developing with Biogen Idec for Parkinson’s disease, following toxicology issues.