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RaQualia and Aratana Therapeutics Sign Animal Health Licensing Agreement


3/7/2011 8:30:31 AM

KANSAS CITY, Kan., March 4, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Aratana Therapeutics, Inc. announced today it has entered into a license agreement with Japanese drug discovery and development company, RaQualia Pharma Inc., to develop two compounds from RaQualia's human clinical development portfolio for animal health applications.

"We are very excited to partner with RaQualia and to be able to draw upon their significant expertise in the development of innovative animal health therapies," said Dr. Linda Rhodes, CEO of Aratana. "Our first development programs have the potential to significantly improve treatment options for two important companion animal diseases."

Under the terms of the agreement, Aratana will be granted global rights for development and commercialization of the licensed animal health products. The first compound, a selective EP-4 antagonist, has achieved proof of efficacy in human studies and has demonstrated efficacy in animal models for several conditions including pain, cancer and autoimmune/inflammatory diseases. The second compound, a selective Ghrelin agonist, has achieved proof of efficacy in human studies and has demonstrated efficacy in animal models for treatment of cachexia and frailty. In exchange for these rights, RaQualia will receive an upfront payment, development milestones and royalties on global sales.

"Working together with Aratana Therapeutics to develop medicines for use in animal health is an excellent opportunity for RaQualia," said Dr. Atsushi Nagahisa, President and CEO of RaQualia. "Our strategy is to consider innovative treatments for use in both human and animal health, and Aratana Therapeutics will provide a powerful engine to realize these opportunities in the animal health sector."

Financial terms of the license agreement were not disclosed.

About Aratana

Recently established by MPM Capital, Avalon Ventures and Cultivian Ventures, Aratana Therapeutics is focused on the development of innovative therapies for the animal health industry.

About RaQualia

RaQualia Pharma Inc. engages in the discovery, development and marketing of clinical and pre-clinical candidates for human patients worldwide. www.raqualia.com

SOURCE Aratana Therapeutics, Inc.



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