Chronos Therapeutics said today it has acquired three preclinical development programs for central nervous system (CNS) diseases from a subsidiary of Shire for an undisclosed price.

The most advanced program of the three will initially target fatigue associated with multiple sclerosis, whereas the other programs are designed to treat addictive behaviors and potentially posttraumatic stress disorder. The programs could have development potential beyond the initial target indications, Chronos said.

The deal expands Chronos' pipeline and is designed to complement the company's lead compound, RDC5, designed to treat amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

Chronos said it purchased global rights to all intellectual property, know-how, development, and marketing rights for each program.

In return, Shire agreed to make a strategic equity investment in Chronos and is eligible for milestone payments on regulatory approval of products relating to the programs, as well as royalties and milestone payments tied to sales of the products.

Shire also has a right of first negotiation for commercial terms related to each program, as well as rights to reacquire each program should Chronos fail to invest specified minimum amounts.

“Taking the programs forward in areas of unmet need in the CNS segment creates significant value for Chronos and its shareholders as well as ultimately providing patients with new treatment options, alleviating significant suffering,” Chronos CEO Huw Jones, Ph.D., said in a statement.

Privately held Chronos focuses on diseases of aging, brain, and CNS disorders. The company’s dedicated laboratory in Oxford, U.K., screens for drug activity of in brain disease through its proprietary platform Chronoscreen™.

Chronos' shareholders include the University of Oxford, Vulpes’ Testudo and Life Sciences funds, Odey’s European and Swan funds, as well as the company’s board and management.

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