MILAN, Italy, May 6 /PRNewswire/ -- Newron Pharmaceuticals and Zambon Group announced today the signing of a collaboration and license agreement aimed at discovering, developing and commercializing novel compounds active as sodium and calcium channel blockers for the treatment of pain conditions, a growing market of unmet medical need.
Newron's contribution to the collaboration is based on its wide experience in the area of ion channels and will include the licensing of selected Newron proprietary structures to Zambon Group, an international pharmaceutical and chemical company characterized by strong emphasis on innovation as well as on medical needs. Zambon Group will contribute to the success of the joint- project with a strong involvement of its research facilities located in Switzerland dedicated to drug discovery. The collaboration will take advantage of Zambon Group's recognized expertise in lead optimization and in all phases of pharmaceutical development.
"This collaboration highlights the value of Newron's proprietary compounds and expertise in targeting the modulation of ion channels, a core area for Newron Discovery Research with strong validation in several diseases of the nervous system. We believe that signing alliances, such the present one, is the winning strategy to strengthen Newron's discovery capabilities by accessing further key competencies and diversifying the early stage project portfolio, which in turn will broaden our future product pipeline," said Patricia Salvati, Newron Pharmaceuticals' VP of Discovery.
Besides the two programs which are part of the collaboration with Zambon Group, Newron is pursuing other significant discovery projects in the CNS area and has initiated phase II trials with ralfinamide (NW-1029), a potent sodium channel blocker that was discovered in house for neuropathic pain.
"Zambon Group is currently engaged in several projects in preclinical and clinical stages in the respiratory area, inflammation and pain relief. This new project will add an important contribution to richness of the Zambon Group R&D project pipeline. This cooperation agreement will also leverage the peculiar and complementary expertise of both parties and exploit the capabilities of the Discovery Center of Zambon Group S.p.A. in Switzerland," said Carlo Di Padova, Zambon Group's R&D Director.
Newron and Zambon Group will jointly fund and collaborate in the whole R&D program including pre-clinical and clinical studies by pooling resources and expertise, with the aim of accelerating product development. The parties will act via a joint Steering Committee aimed at coordinating all development and commercial activities.
In consideration of its contribution to the collaboration, Newron will receive from Zambon Group a significant milestone payment upon first candidate drug selection. Newron and Zambon Group will share equally all revenues deriving from future commercial exploitation of compounds originating from the agreement. Newron will also receive royalties on Zambon Group in-market sales in selected countries. As part of the agreement, Zambon Group will retain exclusive marketing rights for certain countries.
Chronic pain is a condition of high unmet medical need. It covers a number of different pathologies such as back and arthritic pain, neuropathies, and cancer and HIV pain, with an estimated overall patient population larger than 250 million. Market growth rate is driven by factors like population aging and therapeutic advances in the treatment of underlying diseases such as cancer and HIV.
About Newron Pharmaceuticals
Newron Pharmaceuticals SpA is a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company focused on novel ion channel-based therapies for diseases of the Central Nervous System (CNS), particularly Parkinson's disease, epilepsy and pain. Newron is entering phase III clinical trials in Parkinson's disease with safinamide, a unique molecule with multiple mechanism of action currently in Phase II clinical development also for epilepsy. In addition to safinamide, phase II trials with ralfinamide, a potent sodium channel blocker for the treatment of neuropathic pain, have been initiated. Newron's clinical pipeline is supported by a broad portfolio of early stage proprietary compounds generated by our ion channel drug discovery platform. Newron is headquartered in Bresso, near Milan, Italy. For further information visit http://www.newron.com/.
About Zambon Group S.p.A.
Zambon Group is a leading multinational pharmaceutical and chemical company with around 2.400 employees in 16 countries and consolidated sales in the region of 460m euro. Operating directly on three continents -- Europe, South America and Asia -- Zambon Group is a multicultural group with close links to its local markets and the international research community alike. These strengths, combined with diversified research, product and distribution channel strategies ensure that the Zambon Group consistently outperforms its competitors and the market. More information on Zambon Group S.p.A. can be found on: http://www.zambongroup.com/.
CONTACT: Emanuela Germi, or Luca Benatti, Chief Executive Officer, bothof Newron Pharmaceuticals, +39-02-61034604, or fax, +39-02-61034654; or MikeSinclair, Halsin Partners, +44-870-747-0880; or Valerio Vago, Hill & KnowltonItalia, +39-02-31914244; or Simone Ceruti, Communications and Public AffairsManager, Zambon Group, +39-0266524906, +39-3355642629, or fax, +39-0266524084;or Alberta Carmone, Bonaparte 48, +39-0288009783