EVANSTON, Ill., May 22, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Aptinyx Inc., a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company developing transformative therapies for challenging neurologic disorders, today announced Allergan plc (NYSE: AGN) has exercised its option to acquire drug candidate AGN-241751, an oral small-molecule N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor modulator. Aptinyx discovered AGN-241751 utilizing its proprietary chemistry platform and the compound was selected for further development by Allergan under its ongoing research collaboration with Aptinyx.
Allergan was granted option rights to a limited number of small molecules from the Aptinyx discovery platform under a research collaboration initiated in conjunction with its 2015 acquisition of Naurex, the predecessor company from which Aptinyx and its platform were spun out. Through that transaction, Allergan also acquired rapastinel, an intravenously administered NMDA receptor modulating tetrapeptide. Subsequently, rapastinel received Breakthrough Therapy designation from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and Allergan is currently evaluating the compound in Phase 3 studies in major depressive disorder (MDD).
"Through our productive research collaboration with Aptinyx and parallel development of rapastinel, we have gained important insights into NMDA receptor modulation as a potential therapeutic approach for depression," said C. David Nicholson, Ph.D., chief R&D officer at Allergan. "We plan to advance AGN-241751 for the treatment of MDD and believe its pharmacological profile will enable it to become an oral complement to rapastinel, further bolstering our pipeline of therapeutics addressing areas of significant unmet medical need."
"Our research collaboration with Allergan has been fruitful for both parties and we are pleased our collaboration partner has elected to option and continue clinical development of AGN-241751 to augment its CNS portfolio," said Norbert Riedel, Ph.D., president and chief executive officer of Aptinyx. "The exercise of this option underscores the therapeutic potential of molecules generated from our discovery platform, which modulate NMDA receptors in a novel and differentiated way and may significantly improve the lives of patients suffering from various neurologic disorders."
Aptinyx and Allergan entered into their research collaboration to discover and characterize novel small-molecule NMDA receptor modulators using Aptinyx's proprietary chemistry platform. Under the collaboration, Allergan funds a portion of the collaboration costs and receives options to acquire a defined number of compounds for development and commercialization within a limited field of indications. None of the molecules Aptinyx has advanced into clinical development are subject to any Allergan option right.
Aptinyx Inc. is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on the discovery, development, and commercialization of novel, proprietary, synthetic small molecules for the treatment of brain and nervous system disorders. Aptinyx has a proven platform for discovery of novel compounds that work through a unique mechanism to modulate – rather than block or over-activate – NMDA receptors and enhance synaptic plasticity, the foundation of neural cell communication. The company's lead drug candidate, NYX-2925, is in two Phase 2 studies in chronic pain and its second drug candidate, NYX-783, has been evaluated in Phase 1 clinical development and the company intends to develop it for the treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Both programs have received Fast Track designation by the FDA. The company's third product candidate, NYX-458, has been evaluated in IND-enabling preclinical studies and the company intends to develop it for the treatment of cognitive impairment associated with Parkinson's disease. Aptinyx is also advancing additional compounds from its proprietary discovery platform, which continues to generate a rich and diverse pipeline of small-molecule NMDA receptor modulators with the potential to treat an array of neurologic disorders. For more information, visit www.aptinyx.com.