4SC AG successfully completes transaction of Nycomed oncology projects

(lifePR) ( Planegg-Martinsried, )
Martinsried-based drug discovery and development company 4SC AG (Frankfurt, Prime Standard: VSC) today announced the finalisation of the acquisition of eight projects from the oncology division of pharmaceuticals firm Nycomed. With the receipt of the payment of 14 million EURO in cash Nycomed transferred full ownership of the eight projects to 4SC, while Nycomed retains rights to research, develop and commercialise outside the scope of the patents sold.

With this transaction 4SC AG strengthens its development pipeline by adding small molecules, which have promising market potentials for a number of oncological indications.

4SC AG took this transaction as an occasion to redesignate its existing and newly acquired developmental substances in a move designed to enhance transparency. Substance SC12267 (for the treatment of autoimmune diseases including rheumatoid arthritis) is thus now designated 4SC-101; SC71492 (for autoimmune diseases including rheumatoid arthritis and inflammatory bowel disease) is now 4SC-102; SC68896 (oncology) is now 4SC-206; SC71710 (oncology, e.g. acute myeloid leukaemia) is now 4SC-203; and SC75741 (for the treatment of viral infections) is now designated 4SC-301.

4SC-201, a drug candidate from the Nycomed pipeline, is an orally-administered inhibitor of enzymes with histone-deacetylase (HDAC) activity in clinical phase I development. This substance has already shown clear anti-cancer activity on solid and haematological tumours in numerous animal trials. 4SC-201 differs from other HDAC inhibitors in its superior oral bioavailability and is thus regarded to display a larger therapeutic window. The substance is currently being tested in clinical phase I trials to assess its safety and tolerability profile in cancer patients. Initial results of the study are expected to be released in the fourth quarter of this year.

Another oral HDAC inhibitor (4SC-202) is currently completing all preclinical development steps required to file for approval to conduct clinical studies on cancer patients. 4SC-202, in contrast to 4SC-201, is a selective inhibitor of class I HDAC enzymes and comprises a specific cell division inhibiting effect (anti-mitotic). These specific properties of 4SC-202 afford clinical development for the treatment of cancers, particularly manifestations with rapidly proliferating tumour cells.

The substance 4SC-205, an oral EG5 kinesin inhibitor, is likewise currently in final preclinical studies. The anti-mitotic mechanism of 4SC-205 is already clinically validated via vinca alkaloids and taxanes, and combined with its oral availability, offers major potential for broad usage in the treatment of solid and haematological tumours.

In addition to two other HDAC inhibitor projects, the portfolio acquired includes three more innovative research projects. 'The new PLK1, TLR7 and Cell Cycle Blocker projects, which have been already successfully tested in animal models, are a terrific complement to our research portfolio,' said Dr. Daniel Vitt, CSO of 4SC AG, 'We are now able to select next-generation drug candidates from an even richer project pool, affording optimal potential for our developmental pipeline in terms of sustained appreciation in value.'

The new development projects, including the three oncological candidates presented above, are already being integrated into the existing 4SC development pipeline. The capital raised in the share offering of 14 July 2008 has ensured the company's ability to pursue further development of already existing and new projects without delay.

'Having strengthened our innovative development pipeline in the field of oncological and autoimmune indications, we are now in an excellent position to substantially increase our enterprise value through successful clinical development and licensing partnerships,' commented Dr. Ulrich Dauer, CEO of 4SC AG.

Dr. Bernd Hentsch, CDO of 4SC AG, added: 'Because of our experienced development personnel and our distinguished clinical network, we firmly believe that everything is in place to allow us to rapidly move both our existing and newly acquired projects into the next value adding clinical phases.'
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