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Aug 14, 2007

Epix Receives $3M from GSK upon Lead Candidate Identification in GPCR Program

  • Epix Pharmaceuticals achieved an initial milestone in its collaboration with GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) related to the first of three discovery-stage programs. The company thus received a $3-million milestone payment.

    In December 2006, the companies signed a deal to discover, develop, and commercialize GPCR-targeted drugs. Epix received an upfront fee of $35 million and stands to make a total of $1.2 billion in milestone-based payments.

    Using its integrated computational-medicinal chemistry approach to drug discovery, Epix has identified three candidates that will move forward into lead optimization.

    “We are extremely pleased with the progress of our collaboration with GSK,” states Michael G. Kauffman, M.D., Ph.D., CEO of Epix. “In addition to our joint focus on developing PRX-03140, our proprietary 5-HT4 agonist, for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease, Epix and GSK have agreed upon the three discovery program targets and are making significant progress on each program.

    “We are on-schedule and expect to continue moving forward to achieve key milestones across all of our collaborative programs.”



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Scientifically Studying Ecstasy

MDMA (commonly known as the empathogen “ecstasy”) is classified as a Schedule 1 drug, which is reserved for compounds with no accepted medical use and a high abuse potential. Two researchers from Stanford, however, call for a rigorous scientific exploration of MDMA's effects to identify precisely how the drug works, the data from which could be used to develop therapeutic compounds.

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