Firm could receive $9 million from Ipsen during first three years of collaboration.

Syntaxin could receive up to $9 million from Ipsen during the first three years of a global collaboration to discover and develop new botulinum toxin-based therapeutics. Syntaxin will be responsible for the initial discovery of new therapeutic candidates, and Ipsen will carry out preclinical and clinical development of selected compounds.

Under terms of the deal, Syntaxin will receive payments including technology access support and research milestones, totaling about $9 million over 36 months. The U.K.-based firm could also earn additional development and regulatory milestones, and potentially over $90 million in commercial milestones. Ipsen will have exclusive worldwide development and commercialization rights to any products developed as part of their alliance.

Ipsen announced back in June that it intended to increase its focus on its core peptide and toxin technology platforms. The deal with Syntaxin represents the second between the two firms, and follows on from Ipsen’s investment in Syntaxin during the latter’s Series C financing round last year. Ipsen currently owns 0.8% of Syntaxin’s ordinary shares, and 8.9% of its preferred shares on a fully diluted basis.

Syntaxin is leveraging its targeted secretion inhibitor (TSI) platform to develop biopharmaceuticals that selectively inhibit cell secretion processes for the treatment of a range of diseases. Lead candidate AGN-214868, which is partnered with Allergan, is in Phase II development as a potential treatment for pain, and also for idiopathic overactive bladder and urinary incontinence. An internal program, SXN101959, is in preclinical development for the potential treatment of acromegaly.

The firm is in addition applying specialist knowledge in the field of botulinum toxin to generate TSIs derived from the design and generation of novel recombinant genes encoding proteins that replace the neuron-binding domain of botulinum neurotoxins with ligands specific for other cell types.  

The firm says the deal with Ipsen will involve a pooling of knowledge and expertise in botulinum biology to develop compounds in areas of shared therapeutic interest. “This collaboration is validation of Syntaxin’s dual-approach strategy to maximize the potential of its expertise and experience in botulinum toxins in addition to its Targeted Secretion Inhibitors platform technology,” comments Melanie Lee, Ph.D., Syntaxin CEO.  

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