Tokyo and North Brunswick, N.J., Sept 30th, 2015 - Astellas Pharma Inc. (TSE: 4503, President and CEO: Yoshihiko Hatanaka, “Astellas”) and Chromocell Corporation (CEO: Christian Kopfli, “Chromocell”) today announced that they have entered into a license and collaboration agreement for the development and commercialization of therapeutics to treat neuropathic and other pain conditions.
Astellas obtains worldwide rights to commercialize CC8464 and back-up drug candidates to treat pain that have been identified through Chromocell’s Chromovert® technology platform. Chromocell receives $15 million as an up-front payment and is eligible to receive over $500 million including development and commercial milestones, as well as double digit royalties on sales if CC8464 is successfully commercialized. Chromocell will conduct all development of CC8464 through the initial Phase 2a proof-of-concept clinical trial in neuropathic pain. Astellas will lead all further development activities through to commercialization of CC8464 for the treatment of peripheral neuropathic pain. Aside from those development activities, Chromocell may propose, and may initiate, studies for certain additional indications such as rare diseases and non-oral formulations of the drug candidate. Astellas has the right to opt-in for development for such additional indications, which triggers additional payments to Chromocell, and, in certain cases, co-promotion rights in the U.S.
NaV1.7 is an ion channel, involved in the transmission of pain. Chromocell’s lead compound, CC8464, is an oral, peripherally-acting inhibitor of NaV1.7 which may prove to be efficacious in several large unmet or poorly served chronic pain markets as well as rare, currently untreated diseases. Chromocell anticipates filing an IND for CC8464 in early 2016.
Chromovert is Chromocell’s proprietary drug discovery platform that enables the identification of rare cells ideally suited for effective high-throughput screening. Chromovert makes possible the identification of cells expressing therapeutic targets in physiologically relevant forms, resulting in the discovery of promising drug candidates, such as CC8464.
“I am pleased to enter into this agreement with Chromocell which has the breakthrough technologies leading to the innovative new drug development.” said Kenji Yasukawa, Ph.D., Senior Vice President and Chief Strategy Officer of Astellas. “Astellas expects to provide a new therapeutic option to neuropathic and other pain conditions with high unmet medical needs by the collaboration to develop CC8464, and to make further contributions to the treatment of patients with pain conditions.”
Christian Kopfli, Chief Executive Officer of Chromocell said, “We are delighted to enter a collaboration with Astellas for the development and commercialization of CC8464 as patients still lack adequate therapeutics against pain. Astellas’ leadership and commitment in the pain space make this an ideal partnership. Chromovert technology enables effective drug discovery with complex targets like NaV1.7, opening up opportunities in areas with unmet medical needs. We look forward to work closely with Astellas in the development of CC8464 to provide innovative therapeutics to patients with pain conditions.”