Phase Ib trials indicate Bionomics’ lead candidate, BNC210, is effective without sedation.

Ironwood Pharmaceuticals is paying Bionomics $3 million up front and potentially another $11 milion in research funding and milestone payments over the next two years as part of  a research and licensing collaboration for development of the latter’s early clinical-stage anti-anxiety candidate BNC210 and other related compounds.

The collaboration will involve Ironwood and Australian firm Bionomics collaborating on initial research, with Ironwood taking on worldwide development and commercialization of the candidate and other licensed compounds, including clinical trials activities. The total value of the deal to Bionomics could reach $345 million plus royalties on product sales.

“Partnering BNC210 has been a major objective for Bionomics, and this collaboration with Ironwood continues Bionomics’strategy to form partnerships to develop and commercialize its proprietary drug candidates,” remarks Deborah Rathjen, CEO.

BNC210 is a small molecule compound that has a mechanism of action distinct from known drugs, Bionomics claims.  Results from two recent Phase Ib trials indicated that the drug has anti-anxiety effects but without the sedation that is typical of benzodiazepines.

Bionomics is focused on exploiting its ionX®,  MultiCore®, and Angene® platforms for the discovery and development of new treatments for cancer and serious CNS disorders. IonX is an integrated platform of genomics technologies that underpins the firm’s CNS drug discovery and development activities.  The platform includes systems for high-throughput electrophysiology for early, high-content evaluation of drug hits.

MultiCore is a suite of integrated synthetic methods that gives access to complex drug-like molecules. The Angene drug discovery platform has been designed to identify new angiogenesis drug targets particularly in the areas of cancer and inflammation.

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