GEN Exclusives

More »

GEN News Highlights

More »
Jun 8, 2011

Merck Serono Pays Affectis €2.4M Up Front in Deal for Neurodegenerative Disease

  • Affectis will receive €2.4 million in up-front payments and research funding from Merck Serono as part of an agreement to develop oral neurodegenerative disease therapies targeting the P2X7 receptor. The deal gives Merck Serono worldwide exclusive rights to develop and commercialize selected compounds, and includes a research collaboration focused on optimizing P2X7 antagonists. Affectis could receive up to €277 million in milestone payments for the first three products developed through the partnership.

    P2X7 is an ATP-gated ion-channel receptor involved in the maturation and release of proinflammatory cytokines, and is located in brain cells that are activated by high levels of ATP during neuroinflammation, Affectis states. The firm is focused on the development of drugs for the treatment of psychiatric and neuroinflammatory disorders.

    Its lead P2X7 antagonist candidate, AFC-5128, is a brain-penetrating oral compound currently in preclinical development for the treatment of multiple sclerosis and neuropathic pain. Prior to the announcement of its deal with Merck Serono, the firm was projecting making an IND filing for AFC-5128 and starting Phase I trials with the drug during 2011. A second P2X7 candidate, AFC-5261, is also in preclinical development.

    Affectis' lead clinical candidate, cimicoxib, is in development for the treatment of major depression, and recently completed a Phase IIa clinical trial demonstrating benefits over placebo and higher remission rates.

Add a comment

  • You must be signed in to perform this action.
    Click here to Login or Register for free.
    You will be taken back to your selected item after Login/Registration.

Related content


GEN Jobs powered by connects you directly to employers in pharma, biotech, and the life sciences. View 40 to 50 fresh job postings daily or search for employment opportunities including those in R&D, clinical research, QA/QC, biomanufacturing, and regulatory affairs.
More »

Be sure to take the GEN Poll

Patient Access to Genetic Information

Do you think patients have the absolute right to gain access to their own genetic information from medical or clinical laboratories?

More »