Discovery Collaborations with Forest Labs on Obesity targets
AURIGENE AND FOREST LABORATORIES TO COLLABORATE ON DEVELOPMENT OF NOVEL ORAL THERAPEUTICS FOR OBESITY AND METABOLIC DISORDERS
BANGALORE, India and NEW YORK, February 2nd, 2007– Aurigene Discovery Technologies, Ltd (Aurigene), a Bangalore-based discovery services company and Forest Laboratories Holdings, Ltd., a wholly owned subsidiary of Forest Laboratories, Inc. (NYSE: FRX) announced today that the two companies have entered into a collaboration agreement to discover small molecule drug candidates for a novel obesity and metabolic disorders target. Forest selected the target and will direct the discovery collaboration. Under the terms of the agreement, Aurigene will undertake and fund discovery and optimization of lead compounds, with close participation by Forestâ€™s scientists. Forest will have responsibility for and will fund all subsequent drug development and commercialization activities. In addition, Forest has full ownership of the compounds developed under the collaboration with unencumbered worldwide rights. Forest will pay Aurigene undisclosed research milestones according to a pre-defined research plan, as well as sales milestones upon commercialization of compounds arising from the collaboration. Aurigene could receive over $60 million in development and sales milestone payments if a compound is successfully commercialized. â€œAurigene has been rapidly developing its small molecule discovery capabilities through a number of ongoing programs at various stages of development,â€ said CSN Murthy, CEO of Aurigene. â€œWe are excited to leverage Forestâ€™s world class development capabilities and marketing expertise. We believe that our collaboration can flourish by bringing together the complimentary strengths from both organizations. This agreement further strengthens Aurigeneâ€™s unique risk sharing model of drug discovery partnerships. We are happy to have the opportunity to work together with Forest.â€
Dr. Ivan Gergel, Senior Vice President of Scientific Affairs and President of the Forest Research Institute, commented: “We look forward to working with Aurigene to discover novel drug candidates for the treatment of obesity and metabolic disorders. These conditions have significant unmet medical needs and we believe the target we have identified holds promise. Our collaboration with Aurigene is an example of the continued evolution of Forestâ€™s business model such that we are now establishing discovery research partnerships to identify innovative compounds and to secure worldwide rights to the resulting products. Our search for capable partners led us to work with Aurigene and we are looking forward to a productive relationship.\” About Aurigene:
Aurigene Discovery Technologies Limited is a Bangalore-based discovery services company focused on collaborative drug discovery with pharmaceutical and biotech companies on a risk-sharing basis. Aurigene has integrated discovery capabilities, from target to pre-clinical lead optimization, including in vitro and in vivo biology and medicinal chemistry expertise. Aurigene also has structural biology and fragment based drug design capabilities, with in-house crystallization (XRD) and Bio NMR (600 MHz) facilities. The company is engaged in a number of discovery collaborations and provides discovery chemistry and biology services to companies in the US and Europe.
For further information please contact:
Priyanka Ganapathy, Project Management
& Corporate Communications
About Forest Laboratories and Its Products
Forest Laboratories (https://www.frx.com ) is a US-based pharmaceutical company dedicated to identifying, developing, and delivering products that make a positive difference in peoples’ lives. Forest Laboratories’ growing product line includes Lexapro(R) (escitalopram oxalate), an SSRI indicated for adults for the initial and maintenance treatment of major depressive disorder and for generalized anxiety disorder; Namenda(R) (memantine HCl), an N-methyl- D-aspartate (NMDA)-receptor antagonist indicated for the treatment of moderate to severe Alzheimer’s disease; Benicar(R)* (olmesartan medoxomil), an angiotensin receptor blocker, and Benicar* HCT(R) (olmesartan medoxomil- hydrochlorothiazide), an angiotensin receptor blocker and diuretic combination product, each indicated for the treatment of hypertension; and Campral(R)* (acamprosate calcium), indicated in combination with psychosocial support for the maintenance of abstinence from alcohol in patients with alcohol dependence who are abstinent at treatment initiation. *Benicar is a registered trademark of Sankyo Pharma, Inc., and Campral is a registered trademark of Merck Sante s.a.s., subsidiary of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany.
Except for the historical information contained herein, this release contains “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the Private Securities Reform Act of 1995. These statements involve a number of risks and uncertainties, including the difficulty of predicting FDA approvals, acceptance and demand for new pharmaceutical products, the impact of competitive products and pricing, the timely development and launch of new products and the risk factors listed from time to time in the Companyâ€™s SEC reports, including the Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2006 and on Form 10-Q for the periods ended June 30, 2006 and September 30, 2006.
Established in Bangalore, India, in 2002, Aurigene Discovery Technologies Ltd., is a drug discovery biotech focused on small molecule and peptide drug discovery and development from target identification and validation to pre-IND drug candidates in oncology, metabolic disorders and autoimmune diseases, with a proven track record of successful partnerships with big and medium-sized pharma and biotech companies globally. Aurigene has 10 drug discovery collaborations and a pipeline of 15 discovery programs at various stages, from Hit Generation to late-stage Pre-Clinical Optimization, and has filed 14 patents across 6 programs over the last 12 months. With proprietary Structural Biology and Fragment-based Drug Design technology platforms, and experienced scientific leadership, Aurigene is a fully integrated operation with expertise in Hit Generation to Drug Development Candidates for IND nomination.
Established in Bangalore, India, in 2002, Aurigene Discovery Technologies Ltd. is a drug discovery biotech with a proven track record of successful partnerships with big and medium-sized pharma and biotech companies globally. Aurigene has 10 drug discovery collaborations and a pipeline of 16 discovery programs at various stages, from Hit Generation to late-stage Pre-Clinical Optimization, and has filed 16 patents across 6 programs. With proprietary Structural Biology and Fragment-based Drug Design technology platforms, and experienced scientific leadership, Aurigene is a fully integrated Drug Discovery company focused on Oncology, Inflammation and Metabolic Disorders.