LA JOLLA, Calif., May 7 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- TorreyPines Therapeutics, Inc. (Nasdaq: TPTX - News) today announced that it has agreed to sell certain of its intellectual property and equipment assets to CalciMedica, Inc., a new biotechnology company focused on the discovery and development of innovative therapeutics for the treatment of autoimmune and inflammatory diseases. The intellectual property includes a patent application describing assays and uses of STIM1 for regulating calcium-release activated calcium (CRAC) channels. CalciMedica also obtained several compounds, in the preclinical development stage, that inhibit CRAC channels and block the immune response. In exchange for the intellectual property, TorreyPines will receive CalciMedica common stock, as well as potential future sublicensing fees, milestone and royalty payments.
"As TorreyPines' focus is on diseases and disorders of the central nervous system, the sale of these assets that are not related to our core area of research and development allows us to further capitalize on our internal discovery capabilities, creating value for investors," said Neil M. Kurtz, M.D., President and Chief Executive Officer of TorreyPines. "We wish CalciMedica well in their efforts to advance this technology in order to develop new treatments for people suffering from autoimmune and inflammatory diseases."
CalciMedica was founded by Gonul Velicelebi, Ph.D. formerly Vice President, Research and Drug Discovery at TorreyPines Therapeutics, and received initial funding from SR One. Ken Stauderman, Ph.D. and Jack Roos, Ph.D., both also previously at TorreyPines, are co-founders and serve as Vice President, Research and Director, Biology, respectively.
"Our team discovered the role and importance of STIM1 in immune function while at TorreyPines. Thus, we are excited to bring this technology into CalciMedica and we are well-positioned to advance it rapidly. CalciMedica has also recently acquired exclusive rights to the CRAC channel (Orai) technology from The CBR Institute for Biomedical Research. STIM1 and Orai1 function together as gatekeepers of an essential pathway for immune cell function. CalciMedica is targeting CRAC channels to discover novel small-molecule immunosuppressants, with the goal of advancing safe and effective new drugs into clinical development," said Gonul Velicelebi, Ph.D, President and Chief Executive Officer of CalciMedica.
CalciMedica is dedicated to the discovery and development of novel small molecule drugs for the treatment of autoimmune and inflammatory diseases. A significant focus of the company's drug discovery strategy is based on the specific inhibition of calcium release-activated calcium (CRAC) channels, a key component of the Icrac pathway in immune cells. The Icrac calcium entry pathway is essential for the adaptive immune response, and has been validated as an important drug target in humans. CalciMedica has acquired exclusive rights to STIM1 and Orai1 that function together as gatekeepers of the Icrac pathway and were cited in Science among signaling breakthroughs of 2005 and 2006, respectively. CalciMedica was founded in 2006 and received its initial funding from SR One. The company laboratory and offices are located in La Jolla, California. For more information, please contact CalciMedica at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About SR One
SR One is GlaxoSmithKline's independent corporate healthcare venture capital fund. Based in West Conshohocken, PA, and London, U.K., SR One invests globally in emerging biotechnology companies that are engaged in drug discovery, development and delivery with the potential to yield dramatic patient benefits. Since its founding in 1985, SR One has placed over $500 million in more than 150 investments. For more information on SR One, its staff and portfolio companies, please visit www.srone.com.
About TorreyPines Therapeutics, Inc.
TorreyPines Therapeutics, Inc. is a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company that discovers and develops small molecule drugs to treat diseases and disorders of the central nervous system (CNS). Led by an accomplished management team, TorreyPines is leveraging novel drug targets and technologies to potentially deliver new CNS therapies for chronic pain, including migraine and neuropathic pain; and cognitive disorders, including cognitive impairment associated with schizophrenia and Alzheimer's disease. TorreyPines' common stock is traded on The Nasdaq Global Stock Market under the symbol "TPTX." For detailed company information, including copies of this and other press releases, please visit TorreyPines' website at www.torreypinestherapeutics.com.
Source: TorreyPines Therapeutics, Inc.
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