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Feb 11, 2008

Newron Acquires Hunter-Fleming for $11.6M Upfront

  • Newron Pharmaceuticals, which is focused on CNS and pain therapies, will acquire Hunter-Fleming, a U.K. biopharmaceutical company developing new medicines to treat neurodegenerative and inflammatory disorders.

    The agreement provides for the acquisition of 100% of the issued share capital of Hunter-Fleming. Newron will make an upfront payment of 8 million ($11.6 million), minus net debt, for the 2/3 fully diluted share capital of Hunter-Fleming, in newly issued Newron shares. In addition, success-based milestones related to the Hunter-Fleming programs will be made up to a maximum of 17 million ($24.65 million).

    The acquisition of Hunter-Fleming enlarges Newron’s clinical-stage pipeline, particularly in the area of neuroinflammation. Hunter-Fleming has three compounds in various phases of clinical development and one in discovery.

    HF0220 is a broad-spectrum neuroprotective agent with an ongoing Phase II safety and tolerability study exploring biological markers in patients with Alzheimer’s disease, a Phase II study in rheumatoid arthritis will be initiated in late 2008. HF0420 is a low molecular weight oligosaccharide in Phase I for prevention of anticancer therapy-induced neuropathy. HF0299 is a naturally occurring human steroid in Phase I with potential for the treatment of neuropathic pain, and HF1220 is a second-generation neuroprotective compound series in the discovery phase.

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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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