Leading the Way in Life Science Technologies

GEN Exclusives

More »

GEN News Highlights

More »
Jun 18, 2008

Rights to Bionomics Potassium Ion Channel Program Picked Up for $2M Upfront by Merck Serono

  • Merck Serono and Bionomics have joined forces to develop treatments for multiple sclerosis and other autoimmune conditions based on compounds from Bionomics Kv1.3 program.

    Bionomics will receive an upfront payment of $2 million and committed research funding. Merck Serono will fund all development activities including clinical development. Merck Serono intends to select compounds from Bionomics pool of compounds, and for each compound selected Bionomics may receive milestone payments of up to $47 million based on successful development and commercialization. In addition, Bionomics will be eligible to receive royalties on the net sales of licensed products.

    The compounds discovered by Bionomics, around which the collaboration will focus, target the potassium ion channel Kv1.3. A key modulator of the immune system, Kv1.3 is a target found on human immune cells that are associated with nerve cell damage in patients with MS. Inhibitors of Kv1.3 have been shown to inhibit the proliferation of these immune cells, suggesting that they have application in the treatment of MS and potentially other autoimmune conditions, including arthritis, according to the companies.

    Related Links:

    Opening the Gates on Ion Channel Drugs

    Target Screening Focuses on Ion Channels



Be sure to take the GEN Poll

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?

More »