Global preclinical programme has the potential for disease modifying therapeutics

Pheno Therapeutics (Pheno)– a company focused on the development of small molecule therapeutics for the treatment of neurological diseases – has announced that it has entered into an exclusive worldwide licence agreement with UCB.

It involves a preclinical small molecule programme designed to selectively modulate the activity of an undisclosed target that is expressed on human oligodendrocytes and is known to play a critical role in the biological pathway of myelination. The agreement enables Pheno to further develop, commercialise and manufacture treatments emerging from the programme.

Dhaval Patel, UCB’s chief scientific officer, commented: “Licence agreements like this are a demonstration of the value UCB scientists and our partners are creating through strong research productivity, and we are confident that Pheno, with its expertise in phenotypic screening, stem cell technology and myelin biology, will develop this preclinical programme to its full potential,”

Fraser Murray, chief executive officer at Pheno, reflected: “Pheno utilised its proprietary human phenotypic screening platform to discover novel and tractable therapeutic targets to modulate oligodendrocyte biology and promote remyelination. This licence allows us to accelerate a promising drug target towards clinical development.”

He added: “Together with our human neurological drug development expertise, there is significant opportunity for Pheno to fast-track this programmr towards clinical proof-of-concept studies and potentially deliver transformational drugs for the treatment of demyelination diseases.”

Meanwhile, Pheno will make a one-time upfront payment and will be responsible for development, manufacturing and global commercialisation and UCB will receive milestones and tiered royalties on net sales. Further financial details of the agreement were not disclosed.