The agreement gives Panoptes Pharma full patent rights to an anti-inflammatory, small molecule substance that was discovered by 4SC Discovery and is currently in preclinical development stage. Panoptes will continue developing this substance – the immune modulator PP-001 – for therapeutic application in the field of inflammatory eye diseases with high medical need and will market the compound if development is successful. Target indications of Panoptes for the substance are uveitis and viral conjunctivitis (commonly known as “pink eye”).
In return, 4SC Discovery receives a share of 24.9% in Panoptes Pharma and is entitled to subsequent, performance-based milestone payments and royalties based on the sales revenue generated with the compound. Furthermore, 4SC Discovery has the right to use the compound in the therapeutic fields of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). In the event of the further development and/or commercialisation of the compound in RA and/or IBD by 4SC Discovery, Panoptes would be entitled to milestone payments and royalties.
Dr. Daniel Vitt, Managing Director of 4SC Discovery GmbH and Chief Scientific Officer at 4SC AG, comments: “This partnership again demonstrates the great expertise and scientific potential of 4SC in the fields of autoimmune and inflammatory diseases. In Panoptes Pharma, we found an aspiring, young biotech company which will advance the preclinical and clinical development of our innovative compound with great dedication. We wish the highly motivated and experienced team at Panoptes great success. The equity stake in Panoptes and the agreed potential milestone payments and royalties represent an attractive opportunity for us to participate in the successful future development of our substance in the field of severe eye diseases.”
“Despite the fact that millions of patients suffer from chronic uveitis and adenoviral conjunctivitis there is no safe and well tolerable medication available to treat these eye diseases. PP-001 showed excellent efficacy and good tolerability in animal models. We are fortunate to have with 4SC Discovery a renowned and reliable partner on board and Panoptes is now in the position to furtherdevelop this promising drug candidate”, explains Dr. Franz Obermayr, CEO of Panoptes Pharma.
PP-001 is a highly specific immunomodulating small molecule targeting the molecular causes of uveitis and adenoviral conjunctivitis. Efficacy of PP-001 has been established in animal models for uveitis and viral indications.
About inflammatory eye diseases Uveitis
Uveitis is an inflammatory and chronic disease of the eye affecting the uvea, the middle, pigmented layer of the eye. The uvea comprises of three parts: the iris (responsible for color), the ciliary body (positioned behind the iris and responsible for lubrication of the eye) and the choroid (vascular lining tissue below the retina). Apart from corticosteroids and immunosuppressives no treatment is currently available. Both classes of drugs are known to cause serious side effects when used for a prolonged time period, needed to treat chronic uveitis. Uveitis is one of the leading causes of blindness in the world and the fourth leading cause in the western world. Several million patients worldwide suffer from any form of uveitis.
Viral Conjunctivitis (“pink eye”, EKC)
Viral conjunctivitis (often called “pink eye” or EKC – epidemic keratoconjunctivitis) is an inflammation of the conjunctiva, which is the mucous membrane covering the white part of the eyes and the inner side of the eyelids. This notifiable disease, which is caused by adenoviral infection, is a serious and highly contagious form of conjunctivitis. Millions of patients suffer from viral conjunctivits each year. In contrast to bacterial conjunctivitis, there is no causal treatment available.
About 4SC Discovery GmbH and 4SC Group
4SC Discovery GmbH, a wholly-owned subsidiary of 4SC AG, specialises in the early-stage research and discovery of novel therapeutic compounds against cancer and autoimmune diseases. 4SC Discovery engages in partnerships with pharmaceutical and biotech companies in order to advance the development and commercialisation of its own therapeutic programmes. In adition, as a drug discovery service provider 4SC Discovery offers its expertise via research collaborations to companies from the pharmaceutical and biotech industry.
4SC Group focuses on the discovery and clinical development of targeted small-molecule drugs for the treatment of cancer and autoimmune diseases in order to enhance patients’ quality of life. At the end of June 2013, 4SC Group had 83 employees. The company was founded in 1997 and has been listed on the Prime Standard of the Frankfurt Stock Exchange since December 2005.
About Panoptes Pharma Ges.m.b.H.
Panoptes is a privately held biotech company focused on developing small molecule based therapies for the treatment of severe eye diseases with high unmet medical need. The development of Panoptes´ clinical candidate PP-001 focuses on a new treatment for orphan autoimmune uveitis, a disease which is one of the major causes of blindness. As a second indication, adenoviral conjunctivitis will be pursued, a disease for which to date, no treatment is available. Due to its unique mode of action, PP-001 has therapeutic potential for additional inflammatory and viral indications.
Cautionary statement regarding forward-looking statements
This press release contains certain forward-looking statements. Any forward-looking statement applies only on the date of this press release. By their nature, forward-looking statements are subject to a number of known and unknown risks and uncertainties that may or may not occur in the future and as a result of which the actual results and performance may differ substantially from the expected future results or performance expressed or implied in the forward looking statements. No warranties or representations are made as to the accuracy, achievement or reasonableness of such statements, estimates or projections, and 4SC AG has no obligation to update any such information or to correct any inaccuracies herein or omission herefrom which may become apparent.
For more information about 4SC please visit www.4sc.com and www.4sc-discovery.de or contact:
Corporate Communications & Investor Relations
The Trout Group
For more information about Panoptes please vitsit www.panoptes-pharma.comhttp://www.panoptes-pharma.com