Servier Signs Agreements with Hybrigenics and Cortex

Servier, the largest French privately-owned pharmaceutical company, has linked up with fellow French firm Hybrigenics to discover first-in-class drugs for a selection of diseases, notably cancer.

The companies have signed a licence and research collaboration agreement in the field of deubiquitinating enzymes (DUBs) to be applied to oncology, neurology, psychiatry, rheumatology, ophthalmology, diabetes and cardiovascular diseases.

As part of the agreement, Hybrigenics will identify and validate new targets among DUBs and screen potential therapeutic agents able to modulate four undisclosed targets.  Meanwhile, Servier will provide the compounds to be screened, developed, and hopefully commercialise the approved drugs. The pact will also see Hybrigenics work on the discovery of companion diagnostics.

During the three years of collaboration, Hybrigenics will receive an upfront fee and research funding totalling four million euros.  They are also eligible to get payments amounting to 9.5 million euros for each target successfully leading to registration, plus royalties on sales of companion diagnostic kits.

Bernard Marchand, PhD, head of research at Servier commented that “the inhibition of DUBs is a very innovative approach to stimulate the degradation of specific intra-cellular proteins, with a clear potential impact in treating cancer and possibly many other diseases.” said.

Rémi Delansorne, DVM, PhD, Hybrigenics’ CEO, added “we look forward to joining our forces with Servier to discover first-in-class breakthrough new drugs.  Hybrigenics’ own research efforts will now explore the potential therapeutic role of DUBs outside the fields of this collaboration.”

Cortex Agreement

Servier has decided to exercise the option under a deal with the USA’s Cortex Pharmaceuticals to obtain all the remaining rights to the jointly discovered high impact AMPAKINE® compound, CX1632.

As part of the agreement, Servier will pay Cortex an additional $2 million, as well as certain royalties and milestone payments, for the Alzheimer drug.

In June this year, Servier paid Cortex a non-refundable fee of $1 million for CX1632, an ampakine compound which acts to increase the strength of signals at connections between brain cells.  Since then, Servier has completed a Phase I study with the drug.

With the option exercise, Servier will acquire exclusive rights to develop and market CX1632/S47445 on a worldwide basis.  However, Cortex retains all rights for its remaining compounds and AMPAKINE technology on a global basis.


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