Bionomics Announces Extension of Strategic Collaboration with Merck & Co., Inc. for the Discovery and Development of Novel Pain Medications

- Merck &Co., Inc. to make US$9 million investment in Bionomics

Oct 08, 2015, 06:00 ET from Bionomics Limited

ADELAIDE, Australia, Oct. 8, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Bionomics Limited (ASX:BNO, OTCQX:BNOEF), a biopharmaceutical company focused on the discovery and development of innovative therapeutics for the treatment of diseases of the central nervous system (CNS) and cancer, today announced that it has extended its strategic collaboration with Merck & Co., Inc., Kenilworth NJ., (known as MSD outside the United States and Canada) for the discovery and development of drug candidates for the treatment of chronic and neuropathic pain.

The latest agreement builds upon a collaboration signed in July 2013 focused on the discovery and development of novel, small molecule drug candidates for the treatment of chronic and neuropathic pain utilizing Bionomics' ionX and MultiCore drug discovery platforms.

Separately, Merck & Co., will also purchase 21,659,230 million ordinary shares at A$0.5938, a 29% premium to Bionomics' closing price on 7 October 2015.

"At Merck & Co., establishing strong long-term external collaborations is central to our business development strategy," said Dr Iain Dukes Senior VP, Business Development & Licensing Merck Research Laboratories. "We have been impressed with the progress made by Bionomics to date on both our cognition and pain programs and look forward to advancing these programs further."

Bionomics' CEO & Managing Director Dr Deborah Rathjen commented: "I am delighted to welcome Merck & Co., as a shareholder of Bionomics. This investment provides further validation of our science."

"The extension of our agreement with Merck & Co., on the discovery and development of novel small molecule candidates for the treatment of chronic and neuropathic pain reflects the solid progress made by the Bionomics' team as we strive to deliver therapies with the potential to make a significant difference in the lives of patients," Dr Rathjen added. 

About Bionomics Limited

Bionomics (ASX: BNO) is a global, clinical stage biopharmaceutical company leveraging its proprietary platform technologies to discover and develop a deep pipeline of best in class, novel drug candidates focused on the treatment of serious central nervous system disorders and on the treatment of cancer. Bionomics' lead drug candidate BNC210, currently in Phase 2 for the treatment of generalized anxiety disorder, is a novel, proprietary negative allosteric modulator of the alpha-7 (α7) nicotinic acetylcholine receptor. The Company is also developing BNC101, its lead humanized monoclonal antibody targeting a key receptor on cancer stem cells that is overexpressed in metastatic colorectal cancer, metastatic pancreatic cancer and many other solid tumours; BNC101 is expected to enter clinical trials in the fourth quarter of 2015.  Bionomics has strategic partnerships with Merck & Co., Inc (known as MSD outside the United States and Canada) in pain and cognition.

SOURCE Bionomics Limited