Firm gains option for all ophthalmological indications.

Altacor inked a collaborative agreement with Proximagen to research and develop PRX00933 as a treatment for glaucoma. Altacor also has the option for exclusive, global rights to develop this compound in all ophthalmic indications. Proximagen will retain rights outside of ophthalmology.

PRX00933 is the lead compound from Proximagen’s 5HT2c program, which was obtained as part of the firm’s acquisition of Cambridge Biotechnology Limited from Swedish Orphan Biovitrum. PRX00933 is an agonist at the 5HT2c receptor and has the potential to treat obesity, diabetes, epilepsy, urinary incontinence, and psychiatric and ophthalmology disorders.

The compound was initially developed as a targeted approach for controlling the brain’s satiety center and thus achieving weight control. PRX00933 has been dosed in over 480 subjects, was shown to be safe and well tolerated, and in a randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind Phase II study, it demonstrated significant weight reduction in patients. 5HT2c agonists have recently shown promise as a new treatment of glaucoma by reducing intraocular pressure in industry standard models of glaucoma, according to Altacor and Proximagen.

Altacor’s pipeline comprises four glaucoma candidates: ALT 022 for steroid-induced glaucoma, ALT 401 for glaucoma surgery, and ALT 004/a and ALT 025 for glaucoma. These have been obtained through licensing agreements.

In July Altacor negotiated an exclusive, worldwide license to Ophthalmopharma’s clinical-stage latanoprost CD and cyclosporine A prodrug candidates. The deal added to the firms’ arrangement, entered into in April, and gives Altacor exclusive rights to the entire Ophthalmopharma pipeline.

Latanoprost CD is a water-soluble, preservative-free formulation of latanoprost, being tested for the treatment of glaucoma. Cyclosporin A prodrug is a water-soluble formulation that has been developed to demonstrate improved tolerability in the treatment of dry eye syndrome, corneal transplantation, and uveitis.

“PRX00933 is a highly interesting molecule with the potential to deliver a novel complementary mechanism in the treatment of glaucoma,” notes Fran Crawford, CEO of Altacor. “Altacor is excited to add this project to its expanding pipeline as it is synergistic with existing projects and can be fast tracked to the clinic.

“This deal is a further step in building Altacor’s presence in ophthalmology as a specialty pharma company with growing sales and a strong pipeline of development products.” Besides glaucoma, Altacor’s portfolio comprises development and marketed products for ocular surface disease and ocular anti-infectives. The company focuses on differentiation through, for example, formulation or reprofiling.

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