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Posted: Apr 25, 2011
Kadmon Pharmaceuticals and Nano Terra Announce Worldwide Exclusive Licensing Agreement for Three Novel Product Candidates
(Nanowerk News) Kadmon Pharmaceuticals LLC, and Nano Terra, Inc., today announced that they have entered into an agreement under which Kadmon has been granted a perpetual, worldwide exclusive license to three novel, clinical-stage product candidates owned by Nano Terra as well as rights to Nano Terra's drug discovery platform, Pharmacomer™ Technology. The product candidates and technology platform will be transferred to a newly formed joint venture, NT Life Sciences ("NT Life"), co-owned by Kadmon and Nano Terra, which will act as the licensor and recipient of any licensing or royalty fees subject to the agreement. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
The product candidates and Pharmacomer™ Technology platform were developed by Surface Logix, Inc., a company founded by world-renowned Harvard chemist Professor George M. Whitesides, Ph.D., and recently acquired by Nano Terra. The founding technologies focus on breakthroughs in the functionality of pharmaceuticals at the molecular level which enable the discovery of new, small molecule drugs optimized to meet the challenges of human physiology and to evade the early development challenges of traditional medicinal chemistry practices.
The product candidates, SLx-2119, SLx-4090 and SLx-2101, are currently in early- to mid-stage clinical development for a variety of diseases. They target several novel pathways of disease by inhibiting the activity of specific enzymes such as ROCK2 (Rho-associated coiled-coiled kinase 2), the target of SLx-2119; MTP (enterocytic microsomal triglyceride transfer protein), the target of SLx-4090; and PDE5 (phosphodiesterase 5), the target of SLx-2101. SLx-2119, a selective ROCK2 inhibitor, is particularly noteworthy in that preclinical studies of ROCK2 function in vivo suggest that the drug may have therapeutic applications in a diverse spectrum of diseases, including metabolic syndrome, diabetes, cancer, autoimmune diseases and spinal cord injury. ROCK2 is a central effector of a fundamental signaling pathway which serves to modify cell shape and cell migration in response to a variety of stimuli.
Commenting on the agreement, Samuel D. Waksal, Ph.D., Chairman and CEO of Kadmon, said: "Our development approach seeks to combine targeted drug candidates, acquired or internally developed, with innovative clinical strategies focused on sub-categories of disease, as determined by genetics, genomics, and other personalizing factors. This transaction brings to Kadmon remarkably well-developed clinical compounds targeting important pathways of disease as well as a powerful discovery engine, both having benefited from substantial investment to date. These assets continue the expansion of our pipeline and align with our strategic vision for advancing novel compounds derived from leading science."
Myer Berlow, CEO of Nano Terra, said: "The ability to make intricate chemical changes which enable or increase the effectiveness of pharmaceutics in addressing diseases is one of the great promises of nanotechnology. This partnership will bring that promise closer to reality."
He added: "Our agreement with Kadmon represents the successful application of Nano Terra's proven co-development model and the expansion of our chemistry and nanotechnology expertise into the life sciences. Kadmon offers tremendous scientific and clinical expertise, unique insights on drug development, as well as a record of significant value creation. We look forward to collaborating with them on this exciting and promising venture."
About Kadmon Pharmaceuticals
Kadmon Pharmaceuticals LLC is a privately held, New York City-based biopharmaceutical company founded on its expertise in novel science. The company explores new understandings in molecular biology to develop therapies that target the metabolomic or signaling pathways associated with disease, including novel anti hepatitis C therapies. Collaborating with academic centers and private enterprise at the forefront of innovation, Kadmon is focused on pioneering medicines in the areas of oncology, infectious diseases and immunology. For more information, visit www.kadmon.com.
About Nano Terra
Nano Terra, Inc. is a privately-held research and development company which has field-exclusive licenses to more than 50 patents on work done by co-founder George Whitesides at the renowned Whitesides Lab at Harvard University, where he is the Woodford L. and Ann A. Flowers University Professor. Whitesides was the winner of the prestigious Benjamin Franklin Medal in Chemistry in 2009.
Key components of Nano Terra's expertise include Surface Engineering techniques (such as Soft Lithography, Self-Assembly, and Surface Chemistry), and the application of novel Nanomaterials. Nano Terra assembles structures and chemistries at all length scales (from nano- to micro-) on flat, curved, smooth, and uneven surfaces made of a broad range of materials, including metals, polymers, oxides, and ceramics. For more information, visit www.nanoterra.com.