Boehringer Ingelheim and Saniona, a Nordic biotech company in the field of ion channel drug discovery, today announced that they have entered into a research collaboration with the objective to discover and develop novel compounds for the treatment of schizophrenia.
Saniona may receive up to €90 million in milestone payments including an upfront payment of €5 million upon signing of the agreement. Furthermore, Saniona is eligible to receive royalties on worldwide net sales of any resulting products under the collaboration.
The joint research activities aim to identify compounds that could be capable of restoring brain network activity in patients with schizophrenia. The neuronal activity in the brain of such patients can be impaired by a functional imbalance between stimulating (excitatory) and inhibitory transmission of signals between neurons.
“We are very pleased to be working with Saniona’s experienced scientific and management team and to build on their ion channel drug discovery platform. Working together and blending our joint expertise and capabilities, we have the potential to advance new treatment options for schizophrenia” says Clive R. Wood, Ph.D., Senior Corporate Vice President, Discovery Research at Boehringer Ingelheim.
Saniona will receive an upfront payment of €5 million upon signing of the agreement and milestone payments of up to €50 million upon the achievement of certain research, development and regulatory milestones. In addition, Saniona is entitled to commercial milestone payments of up to €35 million and tiered royalties on net sales of any potential products commercialised by Boehringer Ingelheim as a result of this collaboration. Further financial details were not disclosed.
“We are delighted to have Boehringer Ingelheim as partner for our schizophrenia program. My team and I have worked in a long lasting partnership with Boehringer Ingelheim before and I can truly say that this is one of our preferred partners. We have a high respect for their diligent and result oriented R&D operations, their company values, and their effective and respectful collaborations with partners” says Jørgen Drejer, CEO of Saniona.
Saniona grants Boehringer Ingelheim exclusive worldwide rights to research, develop, manufacture and commercialise medicines identified through the collaboration. In addition to upfront and milestone payments and royalties on net sales, Saniona will receive undisclosed research funding during the joint research period.
Photographer: Niclas Holm