Company takes on full development and marketing of 5-HT4 antagonist.

Serodus has licensed a selective serotonin-4 (5-HT4) antagonist called RO1160367 from Roche for the treatment of heart failure. The molecule is reportedly ready to enter Phase II studies.

Under the agreement Serodus will receive the full preclinical and clinical documentation for RO1160367, which will be called SER101. In return, Roche will get an up-front payment as well as be entitled to development, regulatory, and commercial milestone fees. Roche is also eligible to receive royalties on sales of products commercialized under the license.

Serodus has been granted the exclusive development, manufacturing, and worldwide marketing and sale rights. The firm is allowed to sublicense the drug, and, in certain cases, Roche has the right to regain the product.

Researchers at the University of Oslo discovered that muscle cells in failing cardiac ventricles express 5-HT4 receptors as a response to this condition. The effect of 5-HT4antagonists in heart failure has been demonstrated in rat and man, according to Roche and Serodus.

Remarking on the in-licensing, Eva Steiness, M.D., Serodus CEO, says, “This agreement will enable Serodus to move its heart failure program directly into the clinic without waiting for our own preclinical development.”

Serodus has one other clinical-stage compound and a preclinical candidate, SER102, for postsurgical atrial fibrillation. SER100 is an opioid-1 that was acquired from Zealand Pharma this year. The results from previous studies in chronic and acute heart failure indicate that the drug has potential to treat isolated systolic hypertension, which Serodus will pursue in a Phase IIa trial.

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