Aratana Therapeutics and Atopix Complete Global Licensing Agreement for Development and Commercialization of Novel Atopic Dermatitis Program
Aratana to Develop CRTH2 Antagonist for Atopic Dermatitis in Companion Animals
KANSAS CITY, Kan. and OXFORD, United Kingdom, Oct. 13, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Aratana Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ: PETX), a pet therapeutics company focused on licensing, developing and commercializing innovative biopharmaceutical products for companion animals, and Atopix Therapeutics Ltd., a clinical stage company focused on innovative oral therapeutics for allergic diseases, today announced the completion of a global licensing agreement for the development and commercialization of a novel oral CRTH2 antagonist for animal health indications. The decision to enter into this licensing agreement, which was previously announced, was based on favorable results from early de-risking studies performed under the now-completed option agreement between the two companies. Under the license agreement, Aratana agreed to develop and seek approval for the use of the product in atopic dermatitis, focusing initially on developing the product for dogs.
CRTH2 is a G protein-coupled receptor expressed selectively by key cells that mediate allergic responses that has been shown to play an important role in both allergic sensitization and effector responses to allergen. CRTH2 antagonists block mast cell-dependent activation of Th2 lymphocytes, basophils and eosinophils, interrupting an important immune pathway. Studies in models of allergic dermatitis have demonstrated that CRTH2 antagonists reduce accumulation of leukocytes, tissue swelling and production of cytokines, chemokines and IgE.
Atopix is currently evaluating its lead once-daily oral candidate (known as OC459) in a human Phase 2 study in moderate to severe atopic dermatitis, and is supporting a registration study of OC459 in patients with eosinophilic asthma in Russia. Aratana plans to conduct a dose-ranging pilot study in client-owned dogs in atopic dermatitis.
Steven St. Peter, M.D., chief executive officer of Aratana Therapeutics, stated, "We believe this product fits nicely into our portfolio of companion animal therapeutics. We continue to be committed to developing products that target the underlying cause of the disease rather than just the symptoms."
Tim Edwards, Executive Chairman of Atopix Therapeutics, stated, "Given the Aratana team's combined decades of veterinary drug development experience, we believe Aratana is the ideal partner for maximizing the value of this compound in the companion animal health market. We will continue to maximize the value of our CRTH2 antagonists in the field of human health through other collaborations."
In exchange for an exclusive, world-wide license to all non-human animal health applications, Aratana made a one-time payment to Atopix of $1 million at signing and agreed to pay additional milestone payments upon the achievement of certain regulatory milestones as well as royalties on sales, as previously announced.
About Aratana Therapeutics, Inc.
Aratana Therapeutics is a pet therapeutics company focused on licensing, developing and commercializing innovative biopharmaceutical products for companion animals. Aratana believes that it can leverage the investment in the human biopharmaceutical industry to bring therapeutics to pets in a capital and time efficient manner. The company's pipeline includes more than fifteen therapeutic candidates targeting pain, inappetence, cancer, viral diseases, allergy and other serious medical conditions. Aratana believes the development and commercialization of these therapeutics will permit veterinarians and pet owners to manage pets' medical needs safely and effectively, resulting in longer and improved quality of life for pets. For more information, please visit www.aratana.com.
About Atopix Therapeutics Ltd
Atopix Therapeutics Limited is a privately held, clinical stage, biopharmaceutical company based in Oxford, UK, with an innovative approach to allergic disease. The company is developing a novel class of oral anti - allergic medicines, called CRTH2 antagonists, to treat atopic dermatitis, asthma and allergic rhinitis. Its lead candidate is currently being studied in a Phase II clinical trial for moderate - to-severe atopic dermatitis in several leading European dermatology centres. Atopix has a pipeline of highly potent back-up CRTH2 antagonists, including the Phase I ready oral candidate ATX2417, and topical candidates that can be formulated for treatment of a number of severe allergic conditions including eye disease. For more information, please visit http://www.atopixtherapeutics.co.uk.
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SOURCE Aratana Therapeutics, Inc.