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Wyeth (WYE) and Siena Biotech S.p.A. Announce R.& D. Collaboration In the Field Of Neurodegenerative Diseases


10/19/2005 5:11:47 PM

ROMA, Italy, Oct. 7 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Sienabiotech S.p.A., has announced that they entered into an agreement with Wyeth Pharmaceuticals, a division of Wyeth to perform joint research and co-develop novel compounds, targeted towards treatment of neurodegenerative diseases and in particular Alzheimer's disease.

Alzheimer's disease is the most common cause of dementia, and the fourth leading cause of death in developed countries. It is a major health problem worldwide, and has enormous impact on individuals, families, the health care systems, and society as a whole. It is estimated that more than four million people in the U.S. and between 6 and 7 millions in Western Europe currently suffer from Alzheimer's disease, and its prevalence doubles every five years beyond age 65, up to an incidence of 1:3 in people in their 80's. With the increasing ageing of the population in industrialized countries, the burden of disease in terms of social costs and quality of life is expected to increase substantially.

Under the terms of the Drug Discovery Research and Development Agreement the two companies will collaborate in the following areas:

- validation of drug targets in the field of neurodegenerative diseases; - screening and generation of hit compounds; - biological, pharmacological and medicinal chemistry studies to develop lead compounds; - lead optimization up to development of candidate molecules to be considered for clinical development.

Wyeth Pharmaceuticals will have the option to select candidate molecules for further pre-clinical and clinical development in the field and will have worldwide marketing rights for the pharmaceutical products that will result from the collaboration. Sienabiotech will have the option to develop compounds emerging from the collaboration for orphan disease indications. The two companies will be contributing with their respective Intellectual Property, assets and know-how, and will be exclusively collaborating on a number of undisclosed targets.

The undisclosed financial terms of the partnership have been established to yield long term value to each partner: Sienabiotech will be receiving a series of upfront payments and further milestone payments in line with industry standards and related to the successful development and commercialization of the compounds emerging from the collaboration. As part of the agreement, Sienabiotech will also receive royalties on future product sales.

"The partnership with Sienabiotech is an exciting enhancement to Wyeth's already considerable neuroscience discovery effort," said Dr. Frank Walsh, Senior Vice President, Discovery Head, Wyeth Research. "Wyeth believes that this collaboration will have the potential to make significant advances in the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases."

"This Research and Development Collaboration is an excellent opportunity for Sienabiotech," said Dr. Giovanni Gaviraghi, Chief Executive Officer of Sienabiotech "it provides us with the possibility to speed up the development of drug candidates emerging from our research efforts in the field of neurodegenerative diseases. It also gives us a real chance to accelerate the development of orphan diseases treatment."

About Wyeth

Wyeth is one of the world's largest research-driven pharmaceutical and health care products companies. It is a leader in the discovery, development, manufacturing, and marketing of pharmaceuticals, vaccines, biotechnology products and non-prescription medicines that improve the quality of life for people worldwide. The company's major divisions include Wyeth Pharmaceuticals, Wyeth Consumer Healthcare and Fort Dodge Animal Health.

About Sienabiotech

Sienabiotech S.p.A. (http://www.sienabiotech.com/) is an innovative drug discovery company located in Siena, Italy. The company's focus is on diseases of the central nervous system, including rare diseases, with the aim of pursuing validated drug targets and lead molecules for therapeutic intervention. In order to support the drug discovery process from exploratory target identification towards clinical studies, the company applies the most advanced technologies in the field. Sienabiotech is a limited private company owned by the Monte dei Paschi di Siena Foundation.

The statements in this press release that are not historical facts are forward-looking statements based on current expectations of future events that involve risks and uncertainties including, without limitation, risks associated with the inherent uncertainty of the timing and success of pharmaceutical research, product development, manufacturing, commercialization, economic conditions including interest and currency exchange rate fluctuations, changes in generally accepted accounting principles, the impact of competitive or generic products, trade buying patterns, wars or terrorist acts, product liability and other types of lawsuits, the impact of legislation and regulatory compliance and obtaining reimbursement, favourable drug pricing, access and other approvals, environmental liabilities, and patent, and other risks and uncertainties, including those detailed from time to time in the Company's periodic reports, including, in particular for Wyeth, current reports on Form 8-K, quarterly reports on Form 10-Q and the annual report on Form 10-K, filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Actual results may vary materially from the forward-looking statements. The Companies assume no obligation to publicly update any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

Wyeth

CONTACT: Media - Gerald Burr, +1-484-865-5138, for WyethPharmaceuticals; or Gianluca Breghi of Sienabiotech S.p.A., +39-0577-381-219;Investors - Justin Victoria of Wyeth Pharmaceutical, +1-973-660-5340


Read at BioSpace.com


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