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GEN News Highlights : Jan 22, 2013

Prexton Licenses Domain's Parkinson's Disease Drug

Domain Therapeutics granted Prexton Therapeutics, a spin-off company of Merck Serono, an exclusive option to license and develop metabotropic glutamate receptor 4 (mGluR4) Positive Allosteric Modulator (PAM) drugs targeting Parkinson’s disease. Under the agreement, Prexton will progress the mGluR4 PAM drug candidates into clinical development.

The chemical series was previously developed through a licensing and collaboration agreement signed between Domain and Merck Serono in January 2011 to focus on research efforts on certain diseases such as multiple sclerosis, cancer, and immune-mediated diseases.

Under the agreement with Merck, Domain contributed optimized compounds developed from its chemical series and received €2 million in up-front payment and research funding, and was eligible for up to €132 million in milestones for the first two products.

mGluR4 is a glutamate receptor, member of the GPCR family. Allosteric modulation of mGluR4 receptors is thought to exert regulatory activity on glutamate-mediated neurotransmission.