October 10, 2008
Cenomed and TorreyPines Sign Licensing Agreement
Cenomed BioSciences, a majority-owned subsidiary of Abraxis BioScience, and TorreyPines Therapeutics, a biopharmaceutical company, have signed an exclusive licensing agreement.
Under the terms of the agreement, Cenomed acquired from TorreyPines Therapeutics the worldwide development rights to three compounds, phenserine, Posiphen and bisnorcymcerine, for chemical defense and counterterrorism defense.
Cenomed intends to develop these compounds for potential use in preventing toxicity following exposure to chemical organophosphorus nerve agents, including the chemical warfare agents sarin, soman, tabun and VX. Pursuant to the terms of the agreement, TorreyPines will receive potential future milestone and royalty payments.
These compounds may have the potential to protect against the toxic effects of nerve agent exposure and to potentially restore inactivated muscle cells and neural cells throughout the body.
Cenomed intends to develop the compounds for use by the military, as well as civilians in the case of a chemical attack. Phenserine and Posiphen have been shown to be safe and well tolerated following oral administration in human clinical trials. Bisnorcymcerine has completed preclinical evaluation.
Cenomed expects to initiate testing of the compounds against chemical warfare agent toxicity and prepare for the filing of an investigational new drug application with the FDA.
David Helton, president and CEO of Cenomed, said: "Cenomed has a strong focus on chemical defense. This licensing agreement expands Cenomed's scope of research and potentially gives us a broader pipeline for developing therapies for unmet needs in chemical defense for both military and civilian applications."