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Jan 9, 2012

Genentech and Xenon Enter Pain Partnership

  • Xenon Pharmaceuticals formed a strategic alliance worth up to $646 million with Genentech, a member of the Roche Group, to discover and develop compounds and companion diagnostics for the potential treatment of pain.

    Under the terms of the agreement, Genentech has an exclusive license to compounds and a nonexclusive license to diagnostics from Xenon for development and commercialization of products. Xenon will receive research funding, an undisclosed up-front payment, and is eligible to receive R&D and commercialization milestone payments totaling up to $646 million for multiple products and indications. In addition, Xenon will receive royalties on sales of products resulting from the collaboration.

    “We are delighted to be collaborating with Genentech,” said Simon Pimstone, president and CEO of Xenon. “Genentech is among the world’s leading biotech companies and an ideal strategic partner for Xenon, as we share a common emphasis on using human genetics for drug development. Further, this collaboration allows Xenon to both deepen and broaden our pipeline of novel medicines in development.”

    Xenon develops small molecule therapies based on the genetic causes of select metabolic, neurological, and cardiovascular diseases.

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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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