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Unibioscreen and Drais Pharmaceuticals Partner to Develop and Commercialize UNBS 5162 for Treatment of Cancer



9/15/2008 9:25:44 AM

BRIDGEWATER, N.J., and BRUSSELS, Belgium, Sept. 15 /PRNewswire/ -- Drais Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and Unibioscreen S.A. today announced that they have entered into a global agreement to develop and commercialize UNBS 5162, one of Unibioscreen's investigational drug and potential breakthrough treatments for cancer. UNBS 5162 was discovered by Unibioscreen and is currently in Phase I trials in the United States in cancer patients with advanced solid tumors or lymphoma.

"This is an important milestone for Drais as we focus on building a portfolio of novel therapeutics," said Dr. Donna L. Tempel, president and chief executive officer of Drais Pharmaceuticals. "Partnering with innovative companies like Unibioscreen is an important step towards implementing our strategy of in-licensing and developing novel therapeutic treatments that meet unmet medical needs."

Under the terms of the agreement, Unibioscreen will receive upfront, development and regulatory milestones payments up to $31 million, in addition to commercial milestone payments. The license grants exclusive rights to Drais to develop and commercialize UNBS 5162 worldwide.

Christiane Verhaegen, chief executive officer and chief financial officer of Unibioscreen commented: "Unibioscreen's deal with Drais is a key milestone for both the development of the drug candidate and for the company as it provides validation of Unibioscreen's promising pipeline of potential cancer treatments in addition to monetary benefits. We are confident that Drais' experienced team will maximize the progression of UNBS 5162 and believe this agreement will provide excellent value for both partners." Denis Biju-Duval, Head of ING Belgium Corporate Investments added: "The agreement illustrates the ability of Unibioscreen to successfully exploit its unique technology and know-how. Unibioscreen will continue to innovate in the oncology sector."

About UNBS 5162

UNBS 5162 is a novel anti-cancer naphthalimide discovered, patented & developed by Unibioscreen. In preclinical studies, UNBS 5162 has shown antitumor activity in several cancer models and is currently in a Phase I trial.

UNBS 5162 is anti-angiogenic in vivo, and has been shown to decrease CXCL chemokine expression in experimental prostate cancers. UNBS 5162 is a pan- antagonist of CXCL chemokines when administered in vitro chronically at 1 µM, which is a drug concentration compatible with the doses used in vivo. The mode of action, as assessed by a National Cancer Institute comparative screen, appears to be unique.

In an orthotopic model of human refractory prostate cancer, UNBS 5162 has been demonstrated to function synergistically with the anti-tumor effects of taxol. The drug also increases the therapeutic benefits of radiotherapy.

The Phase I trial is currently being conducted under the supervision of Daniel Von Hoff, M.D. at TGen Clinical Research Services at The Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center at Scottsdale Healthcare, Mayo Clinic Scottsdale and the University of Arizona Cancer Center Tucson.

About Unibioscreen S.A.

Unibioscreen is a specialist oncology drug discovery and development company, working on novel, first-in-class compounds, with two blockbuster- potential drugs candidates starting clinical development.

Unibioscreen's core business is the identification and development of new chemical entities for the targeted treatment of cancer and its metastases. The company's focus is on cytotoxic/cytostatic chemotherapeutics that kill apoptosis-resistant and multidrug resistant cancer cells, and anti-migratory drug candidates that fight metastases. Most of Unibioscreen's drug candidates are derived from molecules observed in natural plants or marine invertebrates. Unibioscreen will continue to develop novel compounds in the clinic.

More information is available on http://www.unibioscreen.com

About Drais Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

Drais Pharmaceuticals, Inc. is a privately held, drug development company dedicated to the in-licensing, development and commercialization of novel therapeutic treatments that address unmet medical needs, providing significant benefits over currently available therapies.

Formed in September 2007, Drais completed a Series A financing round in January 2008 from lead investors, InterWest Partners (Menlo Park, CA) and Sutter Hill Ventures (Palo Alto, CA). The Drais management team consists of highly experienced individuals with a successful track record in the pharmaceutical industry. Prior to forming Drais, the management team founded AkaRx, Inc. Drais is based in Bridgewater, New Jersey.

CONTACT: James F. Lynch, PhD, Chief Business Officer, Drais
Pharmaceuticals, Inc., +1-908-895-1216; Christiane Verhaegen, Chief
Executive Officer, +32-476-98-10-78, or Dimitri Dimitriou, Chief Business
Officer, +44- 794-929-3222, both of Unibioscreen S.A.

Web site: http://www.draispharma.com/
http://www.unibioscreen.com/


Read at BioSpace.com

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