Healthcare Industry News: Novartis Pharma AG
News Release - February 21, 2006
Cerimon Pharmaceuticals Licenses Exclusive Worldwide Rights to Simulect(R) for the Treatment of Inflammatory Bowel DiseaseSOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, Calif., Feb. 21 (HSMN NewsFeed) -- Cerimon Pharmaceuticals, Inc. announced today that it has licensed from Novartis Pharma AG the exclusive worldwide rights to develop and commercialize Simulect® (basiliximab) for the treatment of Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD). Currently marketed by Novartis for the prevention of organ rejection in renal transplant recipients, Simulect is a monoclonal antibody that selectively blocks the receptor for interleukin-2 (IL-2), providing highly targeted inhibition of T-lymphocyte activation involved in serious immune-related disease.
Under the terms of the agreement, Cerimon will be responsible for the development and marketing of Simulect (for injection) for IBD, while Novartis will continue to market it in the transplantation indications. Upon approval for its use in IBD, Cerimon will market Simulect and share revenue from net sales in this field with Novartis. The companies have also agreed that Cerimon will receive performance-based milestone payments. Additional financial terms are not disclosed.
This licensing agreement marks the second major deal for Cerimon. In October 2005, the Company announced that it acquired the exclusive U.S. rights to market and sell two topical formulations of diclofenac, a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID).
Paul Sekhri, President and CEO of Cerimon Pharmaceuticals, commented, "We are extremely enthusiastic about developing Simulect for the treatment of IBD, a chronic and potentially severe disease for which new treatment options are clearly needed. We hope that Simulect can significantly improve the quality of life for IBD patients and reduce complications of the disease such as the need for colectomy. Based upon the promising results from an early proof-of-concept study, we will move expeditiously to advance this product into Phase 2b studies."
About Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)
Crohn's disease (CD) and ulcerative colitis (UC), collectively referred to as Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD), are chronic recurrent autoimmune diseases affecting the gut. CD and UC are characterized by the inflammation of the lining and, in the case of CD, other layers of the digestive tract and involve a dysregulation of the body's immune system.
IBD is thought to be caused by the influence of several factors, including genetic predisposition and environmental precipitants, on the gastrointestinal tract's response to the presence of normal and pathogenic bacteria in the gut. The result is an immune response, causing inflammation of the intestinal wall.
About Cerimon Pharmaceuticals
Cerimon Pharmaceuticals, Inc. is a biopharmaceutical company dedicated to bringing innovative therapeutics to patients with substantial, unmet medical needs. The Company is engaged in the development and commercialization of therapeutics in the areas of autoimmune disease, inflammation and pain. In October 2005, Cerimon closed a Series A financing of $70M in a deal led by MPM, and including Nomura Phase4 Ventures and OrbiMed Advisors. Cerimon is headquartered in South San Francisco, CA.
For more information on Cerimon, please visit the Company's Website at http://www.cerimon.com.
Source: Cerimon Pharmaceuticals
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