Radius Licenses Worldwide Exclusive Rights To Estrogen Receptor-Beta Agonists

CAMBRIDGE, Mass., Aug. 7 /PRNewswire/ -- Radius announced today that it has acquired exclusive worldwide rights from the University of Illinois to several new classes of estrogen receptor-beta (ER-beta)-selective compounds discovered by John Katzenellenbogen, PhD, Swanlund Professor of Chemistry. Radius is advancing these ER-beta compounds into preclinical studies for the treatment of endometriosis and other inflammatory diseases. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

ER-beta agonists selectively bind and activate the ER-beta receptor. There are two forms of estrogen receptor: The first form of the receptor to be discovered was ER-alpha, which primarily regulates reproductive functions. More recently, a second form of receptor was identified as ER-beta, which functions in a different role in a wide variety of tissues in the body, including the immune system and the central nervous system. Selective ligands for the ER-beta receptor down-regulate cell proliferation and modulate other activities. There is a growing body of evidence that drugs that activate ER-beta may prove to be a new class of therapeutics for the pain and inflammation associated with endometriosis, rheumatoid arthritis (RA), and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).

"This agreement launches an important initiative to develop a new class of drugs to treat inflammation, with particular applications in treating some of the major unmet needs in women's health today," said C. Richard Lyttle, PhD, President and Chief Executive Officer of Radius. "We are excited about building on the significant discoveries made by John Katzenellenbogen and his team at the University of Illinois, and we aim to develop ER-beta therapeutics that are true advances in the treatment of endometriosis, RA, and IBD."

Endometriosis affects more than six million women of reproductive age in the U.S. and is a leading cause of infertility. Endometriosis symptoms include chronic pelvic pain and dysmenorrhea. The disease is often diagnosed when women have difficulty getting pregnant, as between 30 percent and 40 percent of women with endometriosis are infertile. Current treatments include NSAIDs, birth control pills, GnRH agonists, and surgery, including hysterectomy. There is a significant need for new therapeutics for endometriosis that both alleviate its symptoms and treat the underlying disease.

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an inflammatory autoimmune disease that affects three million people in the U.S., with women accounting for 75 percent of the cases. RA is a debilitating and painful condition with a significant impact on mobility and patients' quality of life. There is a need for new classes of oral drugs to treat and manage this disease.

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) includes Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis-chronic disorders that primarily affect the intestines, causing pain, severe diarrhea, intestinal bleeding, weight loss, and fever. IBD afflicts an estimated one million people in the U.S., usually beginning in adolescents and young adults. Symptoms vary in severity and duration. Some patients suffer frequent prolonged attacks, and others have fewer recurrences. Current therapies include immunosuppressives, which are associated with significant side effects that limit their use for chronic treatment; and surgery.

About Radius (www.radiuspharm.com)

Radius is a privately held company that is a leader in the discovery and development of a new generation of drug therapies for osteoporosis and women's health. The company raised $24 million in its first institutional financing in November, 2003. Investors include HealthCare Ventures, MPM Capital, and Oxford Bioscience Partners. Radius is located in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Contact: Bart Henderson Chief Business Officer (617) 551-4702 bhenderson@radiuspharm.com


CONTACT: Bart Henderson, Chief Business Officer of Radius,+1-617-551-4702, bhenderson@radiuspharm.com

Back to news