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Dec 7, 2006

Xenon and Roche Partner on Anemia of Inflammation Treatment

  • Xenon partnered with Roche to discover and develop protein therapeutics targeting hemojuvelin (HJV) as an approach for the treatment of anemia of inflammation. Xenon discovered HJV as the defective protein underlying juvenile hemochromatosis. This protein appears to play a role in the regulation and availability of iron for red blood cell production.

    The companies will jointly research protein-based inhibitors of HJV. In addition to the research and license agreement, the Roche Venture Fund has purchased $7 million of Xenon stock.

    The research term is for two years. Upon the achievement of a series of research, development, and regulatory milestones, Xenon may be eligible to receive payments of up to $44 million for the first product and further payments for subsequent products. Roche will also pay Xenon undisclosed royalties on sales of resulting products.

    Xenon has retained an option to copromote therapeutic products in Canada. Roche has the option to commercialize HJV-based diagnostics, as well as an option to license small molecule inhibitors of HJV that Xenon develops.



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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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