RICHMOND, Calif., Feb. 3 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Neurobiological Technologies, Inc. today announced that it has received a $2.25 million payment from Merz Pharmaceuticals GmbH (Merz) related to FDA marketing approval, in the U.S., of Memantine, the first therapy approved for patients with moderate to severe Alzheimer's disease. Memantine was approved by the FDA in October 2003 and is being marketed in the U.S. by Forest Laboratories, Inc., under the trade name Namenda(TM).
Paul E. Freiman, president and chief executive officer, said, "Approval of Memantine in the U.S. is an important development for patients with Alzheimer's disease and certainly a milestone event for NTI. In addition to the $2.25 million payment, which significantly strengthens the company's balance sheet, we expect to begin receiving a steady stream of royalty payments based on sales of Namenda in the U.S., which began in January."
Alzheimer's is a progressive disease of the brain that is the most common type of dementia. The term dementia is used to describe the progressive loss of cognitive or intellectual function. The Alzheimer's Association projects that by 2050 more than 14 million people in the U.S. will have Alzheimer's disease.
Memantine, an orally-available neuroprotective agent, is also being developed by Forest as a treatment for neuropathic pain. NTI's research collaboration partner, Merz, licensed exclusive rights for Memantine to Forest Laboratories, Inc. for the United States. For a number of European markets as well as Canada, Australia and South Africa, the exclusive rights have been granted to H. Lundbeck A/S. Merz' exclusive partner, Daiichi Suntory Pharma Co., Ltd., is developing Memantine in Japan. Lundbeck will co-market Memantine with Merz for the remaining countries.
About Neurobiological Technologies, Inc. (NTI)
NTI is an emerging drug development company focused on the clinical evaluation and regulatory approval of neuroscience drugs. The company's strategy is to in-license and develop early- and later-stage drug candidates that target major medical needs and which can be rapidly commercialized. Its management team oversees the human clinical trials necessary to establish preliminary evidence of efficacy and seeks partnerships with pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies to complete development and marketing of its product candidates.
Except for the historical information contained herein, the matters discussed in this press release are forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties, including our dependence on Merz and its marketing partners for the successful commercialization of Memantine and other risks detailed from time to time in the company's Securities and Exchange Commission filings. Actual results may differ materially from those projected. These forward-looking statements represent the company's judgment as of the date of this release. The company disclaims, however, any intent or obligation to update these forward-looking statements.
Neurobiological Technologies, Inc.
CONTACT: Paul E. Freiman, President & CEO of NeurobiologicalTechnologies, Inc., +1-510-262-1730; Roger Pondel or Rob Whetstone both at+1-323-866-6050, both of PondelWilkinson, for Neurobiological Technologies,Inc.