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Jun 25, 2007

Toyama Chemical Licenses RA Drug to Roche for Potentially More Than $370M

  • Roche obtained a license from Toyama Chemical for its oral rheumatoid arthritis agent T-5224 in a deal worth over $370 million. The candidate inhibits a specific inflammatory process thus blocking signs and symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis and the progressive destruction of joint and bone, according to Toyama. T-5224 is currently in Phase I trials.

    Under the terms of the licensing agreement, Toyama Chemical has granted Roche exclusive rights to research, develop, and sell T-5224 worldwide, excluding Japan where Toyama Chemical will retain exclusive rights. The companies will research and develop back-up candidates to T-5224.

    Toyama Chemical will receive upfront and milestone payments totaling up to $370 million, based on certain development and commercial milestones. If approved for marketing, Toyama Chemical will receive royalties based on the net sales.

    "This novel oral compound complements Roche's developing portfolio of drug candidates in inflammation and rheumatoid arthritis," states Jean-Jacques Garaud, head of Roche pharma development. “The agent T-5224 has the potential to inhibit a key trigger of rheumatoid arthritis and has already shown promising pharmacological efficacy and safety in early clinical studies.”

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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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