Wyeth and Opsona Therapeutics to collaborate on Toll-Like Receptors
Dubiln, Ireland - 13 February, 2006
Opsona Therapeutics Ltd (Dublin, Ireland) announced today that they have entered into a collaboration with Wyeth Pharmaceuticals, a division of Wyeth (NYSE:WYE), for the discovery, development and commercialisation of compounds to treat inflammatory diseases, based on Toll-like receptor (TLR)
The collaboration will focus on certain TLR targets to discover new chemical entities and biologics for the treatment of autoimmune and inflammatory diseases.
The targets arise from technology developed at Trinity College Dublin by Professor Luke O’Neill, through funding received by Science Foundation Ireland.
In addition, Opsona will also be undertaking a target discovery program that may lead to the generation of new targets in the TLR pathways.
Luke O’Neill, a pioneer in TLR research, Professor of Molecular Immunology at Trinity College Dublin and co-founder of Opsona says, “TLRs are critical initiators of inflammation and have been implicated in the development of chronic inflammatory diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and systemic lupus
erythematosis, in addition to applications in other fields, including cancer and vaccines. Targeting TLRs with new drug candidates has tremendous potential as a new approach to treat such diseases.”
Opsona will receive an upfront payment and may receive additional payments upon the achievement of certain discovery and development milestones. Opsona shall also receive research and development funding and royalties on potential product sales. Opsona also has the option to develop drugs derived from the collaboration for the treatment of topical indications.
“Opsona looks forward to working together with Wyeth which is a world-leader in the development of new treatments for inflammation,“ says Mark Heffernan, Ph.D. and CEO of Opsona. “This collaboration is a key milestone for Opsona and provides validation of the science around the TLRs.”
Cormac Kilty, Ph.D., Chairman of Opsona and Chairman of the Irish Bioindustry Association says that the scientific expertise of Opsona coupled with the capabilities of Wyeth is a great combination for drug discovery and development to bring new drugs into the clinic for the treatment of these disabling diseases.
This collaboration also reaffirms Wyeth’s continued investment in the Irish biotechnology sector.”
Opsona is a drug discovery and development company, focused on novel therapeutic approaches to treat autoimmune and inflammatory diseases. Opsona’s three scientific founders are world-renowned immunologists at Trinity College Dublin. Opsona is preparing for the clinical development of two
immunomodulatory compounds for the treatment of autoimmune and inflammatory diseases. Opsona is based in Dublin Ireland, and raised €6.25m in March 2005, with its investors including Inventages, Seroba BioVentures, Genentech and Enterprise Ireland. Opsona worked with international business
development company Biocomm to secure this deal. www.opsona.com
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