Pharmos will take an equity stake in Reperio and will earn license and royalty fees.

Pharmos agreed to sell Reperio Pharmaceuticals patent rights and technical expertise to its cannabinoid program. This will allow the company to focus on its drug for irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), which is currently in Phase IIb testing. Pharmos will be granted an equity ownership in Reperio and will be entitled to license and royalty fees.

Pharmos’ CB2-selective cannabinoids are synthetic compounds that belong to the class of nonclassical cannabinoids and reportedly display fewer psychotropic and cardiovascular side-effects compared with some natural cannabinoids.

Pharmos developed these compounds in preclinical testing for neuropathic pain. Reperio may further develop these cannabinoids as analgesics, neuroprotectives, immunomodulatories, and/or anti-inflammatory agents.

Under the asset purchase agreement, which is scheduled to close by June 6, the Israeli company is required to reach a consent with the Office of the Chief Scientist to fully assume liabilities for grant payments made to Pharmos during development of the CB2 program. The deal also calls for two former Pharmos scientists to join Reperio for further development of the CB2 program.

The sale will allow Pharmos, which in October 2008 closed its Israeli operations, to conserve its finances for the development of dextofisopam. The company says that it is currently enrolling patients in a Phase IIb trial. 


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