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Jun 9, 2010

Pharnext Raises €4.8M to Progress Pipeline of Repositioned Drugs

  • Pharnext obtained €4.8 million (about $5.79 million) in a Series A fundraising. The firm says the financing will allow it to contemplate starting clinical trials with its lead Pleodrug™ candidate for the treatment of Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease before the end of this year.

    The investment will also help the firm progress its Pleodrug research, which repurposes existing drugs for different diseases, to target other indications including Alzheimer disease, chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy, polycystic kidney disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, hyperlipidema, and diabetes.

    Founded in 2007, Pharnext is focused on discovering, developing, and licensing pharmaceutical treatments for severe neurological diseases. The company’s drug repositioning approach involves identifying the common molecular targets between unrelated diseases and testing existing drugs on newly identified indications. The firm says this Pleotherapy approach identifies rational drug combinations through the study of biological networks, cell signaling, and gene-regulation networks.

    In June 2009, Pharnext signed an exclusive research, development, and marketing agreement with Ipsen for its Charcot Marie-Tooth disease drug program. Under the terms of the deal, Ipsen has an exclusive option on the drug program and also subscribed to the issue of convertible bonds.

    In the event it exercises its option at the end of a positive Phase II trial, Pharnext could be due cumulative development milestones of up to €91 million (roughly $109.84 million) as well as double-digit royalties on net product sales. Ipsen will then take over development and commercialization of the product and will market it in Europe, the U.S., China, and certain other territories.


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