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Aug 14, 2007

Icagen Inks Multimillion-Dollar Ion-Channel Pact with Pfizer for Pain and Related Indications

  • Icagen and Pfizer have joined forces to develop compounds that modulate three specific sodium ion channels as treatments for pain and related disorders.

    Icagen could receive $397 million in total funding and milestone payments. Additionally, Pfizer will make an equity investment of up to $15 million in Icagen.

    Icagen saw a 32% increase in its value, opening trading today at $2.54.

    The companies will combine resources, forming a joint research committee to monitor and oversee the partnership. Pfizer will fund all aspects of the alliance, including the research and preclinical development efforts at Icagen. The company also retains exclusive worldwide rights to commercialize resulting products.

    Pfizer will provide $38 million in committed funding to Icagen over the first two years, including an initial upfront license fee of $12 million. 

    Additionally, Icagen is eligible to receive $359 million in research, development, regulatory, and commercialization milestones for each product. Icagen is also eligible to receive tiered royalties, against which the commercialization milestones are creditable, depending upon sales achieved.

    Pfizer’s equity investment is composed of an initial $5-million investment in Icagen common stock. Icagen also has an option to sell up to an additional $10 million common shares to Pfizer at any time during the first 18 months of agreement.

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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.

Do you agree that ecstasy should be studied for its potential therapeutic benefits?

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