Domain Therapeutics to receive up to $125 million for assignment of its intellectual property covering the Foliglurax mGluR4 PAM series discovered by the French biotech
Domain Therapeutics is pleased to congratulate its partner company Prexton Therapeutics (Prexton) on its acquisition by H. Lundbeck A/S (Lundbeck). Prexton’s drug candidate, Foliglurax, is currently in clinical Phase II for symptomatic treatment of OFF-time and dyskinesia (involuntary muscle movements) in Parkinson’s disease.
The series of compounds, from which Foliglurax originated, was initially discovered by Domain Therapeutics, licensed to Prexton in 2013 and assigned as part of the acquisition by Lundbeck. Foliglurax itself was identified by Domain who worked closely with Prexton to advance the program from discovery to development. This first-in-class molecule is the only metabotropic glutamate receptor 4 Positive Allosteric Modulator (mGluR4 PAM) to have reached the clinic.
As a Prexton shareholder and patent assignor, Domain will receive up to $125 million depending on the successful outcome of certain undisclosed milestones.
“This transaction, one of the more significant recent trade sales of a European private biotechnology company, validates Domain’s strategy of partnering the development of its drug candidates through asset-centric companies,” said Pascal Neuville, CEO of Domain Therapeutics. “The team at Prexton was excellent in rapidly moving Foliglurax through preclinical and early clinical stages in order to make this promising treatment available to the Parkinson’s disease patient population.”
“Our fruitful partnership with Domain resulted in the selection of Foliglurax that we successfully developed through these early development stages,” said Francois Conquet, Founder and CEO of Prexton. “This collaboration is an example of complementarity between partners to jointly develop a valuable asset for a major indication.”
About the discovery of Foliglurax
Foliglurax, a first-in-class mGluR4 PAM, is an illustration of Domain Therapeutics strategy and capacity to discover drug candidates for challenging and intractable GPCRs. With its know-how and expertise in both this class of targets and allosteric modulation, the company selected a series of novel hits and conducted the discovery phases up to the selection of optimized leads. Domain licensed the first patent covering the candidates to Prexton and continued to work to select Foliglurax as the lead drug candidate. Domain and Prexton have published on the discovery of Foliglurax (Charvin et al., J. Med. Chem. 2017) and jointly presented the Foliglurax project at the 9th International Meeting on Metabotropic Glutamate Receptors in Taormina (IT), October 1-6, 2017.
About Parkinson’s disease
Parkinson’s disease is a devastating progressive neurological condition affecting around 6 million people worldwide. The disease is caused by the degeneration of dopaminergic brain cells. The main motor symptoms are resting tremor, muscle rigidity and slowed movement (bradykinesia). Uncontrolled movements (dyskinesia) are debilitating complications to levodopa use. Current treatments aim to replace dopamine or to mimic its effects. Patients are administered with the dopamine precursor levodopa. This treatment provides adequate symptomatic relief initially, but over time, it loses efficacy as the disease progresses and patients experience serious debilitating complications, such as increased OFF time and dyskinesia.