Building on a partnership inked in January of 2012, Xenon Pharmaceuticals has entered a new drug discovery collaboration with Genentech with the aim of finding and validating new therapeutic targets and mechanisms to treat pain. Xenon will be using its Extreme Genetics discovery platform to focus on rare phenotypes where individuals have an inability to perceive pain or where individuals have nonprecipitated spontaneous severe pain.

Per the new agreement, Xenon and Genentech will own the intellectual property arising out of the collaboration, and Xenon has given Genentech an exclusive but time-limited right of negotiation on a target-by-target basis to form joint drug discovery collaborations. The original 2012 partnership, made with the aim of discovering and developing compounds and companion diagnostics to treat pain, was said at the time to be worth around $646 million.

Xenon's president and CEO Simon Pimstone, Ph.D., said in a statement that the firm believes the pain market is underserved and therefore could be a good commercial opportunity for the company.

“With this new collaboration, we have the opportunity to apply our expertise in pain genetics and insights into the biology of pain more broadly….We look forward to working further with Genentech to seek to discover additional highly validated targets that could yield novel non-opioid based mechanisms to treat pain,” he added.

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