Raptor Pharmaceutical Inc. to Collaborate with Roche (JOBS) on Therapeutic Delivery Across Blood-Brain Barrier
Published: Jun 09, 2009
NOVATO, Calif., June 9 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Raptor Pharmaceuticals Corp. ("Raptor" or the "Company") (OTC Bulletin Board: RPTP - News), today announced that it has entered a collaboration and licensing agreement with Roche (SWX: ROG.VX; RO.S, OTCQX: RHHBY) to evaluate therapeutic delivery across the blood-brain barrier, ("BBB") starting with Raptor's proprietary NeuroTrans(TM) BBB transporter platform. Under terms of the agreement, Roche will fund studies of select molecules attached to Raptor's proprietary NeuroTrans(TM), a derivative of the receptor-associated protein ("RAP"). The agreement provides Roche with an exclusive worldwide license to NeuroTrans(TM) for use in the delivery of diagnostic and therapeutic molecules across the BBB.
Scientists at Raptor and Roche will actively collaborate on the project. Raptor will receive an initial upfront fee for the collaboration to cover its portion of the initial studies, along with development milestone payments and royalties in exchange for the licensing of NeuroTrans(TM).
Todd C. Zankel, Ph.D., Chief Scientific Officer and co-founder of Raptor, stated, "We are excited to be collaborating with Roche, a world leader in pharmaceutical research. We believe that by combining our knowledge of the work done in the area of BBB transport and the resources of Roche, our collaboration is well positioned to make significant progress in a critical and challenging area in medical research."
Crossing the BBB remains a major obstacle to effectively treating most neurological disorders. While medical research has identified hundreds of potential therapeutic compounds that might be highly effective in treating devastating neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, and Huntington's Disease, the majority of these compounds do not cross the BBB by themselves. So they cannot get to where they need to go to be effective drugs. The challenge of finding a means to deliver these compounds to the brain has resulted in an intensive search for "BBB transporter molecules" that could be attached to these potential therapeutics and, following intravenous administration, deliver the drug to the brain.
"Our collaboration with Roche will enable us to further the development of Raptor's NeuroTrans(TM) BBB transporter molecules, in conjunction with Roche's proprietary therapeutic molecules, to potentially deliver these compounds in therapeutic quantities across the BBB following intravenous administration" said Christopher Starr, Ph.D. CEO of Raptor. "It is our hope that this collaboration, which will leverage the knowledge and expertise of Dr. Zankel and his group here at Raptor, coupled with the ongoing research of the scientists at Roche, will bring us an increased understanding of the most effective means to transport therapeutic molecules across the BBB, in order to more effectively treat these devastating neurodegenerative diseases."
NeuroTrans(TM) is Raptor's proprietary receptor-associated protein ("RAP")-based technology program designed to deliver therapeutics across the blood-brain barrier ("BBB"), with the potential to provide safer, less intrusive, and more effective therapies to treat a wide variety of brain disorders. Preclinical studies indicate that radio-labeled NeuroTrans(TM) crosses the BBB through transcytosis, or the selective receptor-mediated transport of peptides and large proteins across the endothelial membrane in the BBB. NeuroTrans(TM) has also been conjugated to a variety of protein drugs, including enzymes and growth factors, without interfering with their therapeutic functions.
Raptor recently announced that the United States Patent and Trademark Office ("USPTO") has issued two Notices of Allowance for U.S. Patent Application Nos. 10/812,849 and 11/202,566, titled "Methods of increasing delivery of active agents to brain comprising administering receptor-associated protein ("RAP") fragments conjugated to active agents".
About Raptor Pharmaceuticals Corp.
Raptor Pharmaceuticals Corp. ("Raptor") is dedicated to speeding the delivery of new treatment options to patients by working to improve existing therapeutics through the application of highly specialized drug targeting platforms and formulation expertise. Raptor focuses on underserved patient populations where it can have the greatest potential impact. Raptor currently has product candidates in clinical development to treat nephropathic cystinosis, non-alcoholic steatohepatitis ("NASH"), Huntington's Disease ("HD"), and aldehyde dehydrogenase ("ALDH2") deficiency.
Raptor's preclinical programs are based upon bioengineered novel drug candidates and drug-targeting platforms derived from the human receptor-associated protein ("RAP") and related proteins that are designed to target cancer, neurodegenerative disorders and infectious diseases.
For additional information, please visit www.raptorpharma.com.
FORWARD LOOKING STATEMENTS
This document contains forward-looking statements as that term is defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements relate to future events or our future results of operation or future financial performance, including, but not limited to the following statements: that NeuroTrans(TM) will be able to deliver therapeutic and diagnostic molecules across the blood-brain barrier; that the Company will ever earn or be paid the development milestone payments and/or royalties based upon the licensing of NeuroTrans(TM); that the collaboration between the Company and Roche will make significant progress in the area of transporting molecules across the blood-brain barrier; and that any of the Company's clinical and preclinical drug candidates will result in approved therapeutics. These statements are only predictions and involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors, which may cause the Company's actual results to be materially different from these forward-looking statements. Factors which may significantly change or prevent the Company's forward looking statements from fruition include that Raptor may be unsuccessful in developing any products or acquiring products; that Raptor's technology may not be validated as it progresses further and its methods may not be accepted by the scientific community; that Raptor is unable to retain or attract key employees whose knowledge is essential to the development of its products; that unforeseen scientific difficulties develop with the Company's process; that Raptor's patents are not sufficient to protect essential aspects of its technology; that competitors may invent better technology; that Raptor's products may not work as well as hoped or worse, that the Company's products may harm recipients; and that Raptor may not be able to raise sufficient funds for development or working capital. As well, Raptor's products may never develop into useful products and even if they do, they may not be approved for sale to the public. Raptor cautions readers not to place undue reliance on any such forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date they were made. Certain of these risks, uncertainties, and other factors are described in greater detail in the Company's filings from time to time with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the "SEC"), which Raptor strongly urges you to read and consider, including its Registration Statement on Form S-1, as amended, that was declared effective on August 7, 2008; its annual report on Form 10-K filed with the SEC on October 30, 2008, as amended by that Form 10-K/A filed with the SEC on December 23, 2008; and its Form 10-Q filed with the SEC on April 13, 2009, all of which are available free of charge on the SEC's web site at http://www.sec.gov. Subsequent written and oral forward-looking statements attributable to Raptor or to persons acting on its behalf are expressly qualified in their entirety by the cautionary statements set forth in the Company's reports filed with the SEC. Raptor expressly disclaims any intent or obligation to update any forward-looking statements.
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