Roche (SIX: RO, ROG; OTCQX: RHHBY) and reMYND today announced that they have entered into an agreement to develop novel therapeutics that could slow down neurodegeneration in Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s patients by inhibiting α-synuclein and tau toxicity.
The collaboration will focus on two of reMYND’s pre-clinical small molecule programmes targeting α-synuclein and tau related pathologies in appropriate model systems as well as potential back-up classes. Roche and reMYND will form joint teams to progress the programmes towards clinical studies. Roche will provide input into chemistry, lead-optimisation and pre-clinical development, while reMYND will continue to conduct non-clinical pharmacology studies and further elucidate the underlying molecular mechanisms. Roche will be responsible for all clinical development and worldwide commercialisation.
reMYND’s compounds are unique because they inhibit α-synuclein neurotoxicity in Parkinson's disease and tau neurotoxicity in Alzheimer's disease. As such they are considered disease modifying, whilst most currently available treatments only treat the symptoms of the disease.
Commenting on the agreement, Dr Luca Santarelli, Head of Roche CNS said: “The addition of these programmes strengthens and complements our existing research. We are excited to have licensed these novel compounds for our CNS pipeline because we believe that they offer a unique approach to combat Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease. We are committed to bringing new drugs to the patients that suffer from these devastating neurodegenerative diseases.”
Gerard Griffioen, CSO of reMYND said: “From our interactions with different foundations, key opinion leaders and pharmaceutical companies, we could sense that each of our pre-clinical lead programmes were among the most promising experimental treatments to slow down disease progression. Our most advanced compound in Parkinson’s disease has demonstrated full inhibition of disease progression in pre-clinical models and could be the first treatment in clinical development for Parkinson’s disease targeting α –synuclein-induced toxicity.”
Koen De Witte, Managing Director of reMYND added: “Our Alzheimer’s tau programme represents perhaps a greater potential as it addresses one of the most fundamental aspects of the disease. We are very excited, both for our company and for Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s patients, to have selected Roche as a partner to advance these programmes. We believe there is a strong fit between both companies because we both have a strong biology-driven approach and aim for first-in-class treatments. In addition, Roche’s expertise in diagnostics will be crucial for maximising the chances of success along the long path of clinical development.”
Under the agreement, reMYND could receive over half a billion Euros in milestone payments, additional FTE payments and royalties on resulting net sales, potentially reaching a double-digit level.
According to the latest statistics from the WHO, there are currently around 35 million people diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. Parkinson’s disease is the most common motor disorder, typically affecting the aged (65+) population. At present, about 0.1% to 0.2% of the Western population suffer from Parkinson’s disease.
Visit the Roche website