Clinical-stage compound has potential to treat CNS diseases.

Ore Pharmaceuticals acquired tiapamil from Roche for the potential treatment of central nervous systems diseases. Roche was investigating the compound cardiovascular indications when it axed in the program after reaching mid- and late-stage trials.

In 2005, Ore Pharmaceuicals (formerly Gene Logic) inked a drug repositioning deal with Roche. Under that agreement, Ore identified potentially novel therapeutic uses for tiapamil in CNS diseases. The company says that it will select the most appropriate of several potential indications, prepare for Phase II trials, and initiate out-licensing activities.

Roche had reached Phase II and Phase III testing of tiapamil in hypertension, arrhythmia, and angina. Repositioning efforts at Ore Pharmaceuticals discovered that tiapamil activates a major regulatory protein in the brain, an activity for which the compound was previously not developed.

“Tiapamil is a great addition to our emerging development pipeline,” reports Stephen Donahue, M.D., svp of clinical development at Ore Pharmaceuticals. “It has been well characterized by Roche in prior studies. Since tiapamil has been studied in more than 1,000 patients for periods up to 12 months, development risk is reduced relative to similar compounds that are just entering patient trials.”

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