LEUVEN, Belgium, September 5, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --
ThromboGenics NV (Euronext Brussels: THR:BR), a biopharmaceutical company focused on developing and commercializing innovative ophthalmic medicines, today announces that it has entered into a collaboration and license agreement with Bicycle Therapeutics to develop and commercialize novel drugs inhibiting a specific target for the treatment of ophthalmic diseases, such as diabetic macular edema (DME). DME is a leading cause of adult vision loss, with a significant proportion of patients failing to respond adequately to existing therapies for this condition.
ThromboGenics intends to develop therapeutics based on Bicycle's bicyclic peptides, which inhibit a target involved in vascular permeability. Selective inhibition of this target represents a new approach that offers the potential to improve the treatment of DME. ThromboGenics and Bicycle will collaborate on the preclinical development of these bicyclic peptide inhibitors.
DME is a common consequence of diabetic retinopathy and a leading cause of significantly impaired vision among patients with diabetes. Globally, 350 million people are estimated to suffer from diabetes (WHO). An estimated 30% of all patients suffering from diabetes for over 20 years are at risk of developing DME.
For many years, the standard of care has been to treat DME with laser photocoagulation to the macula. More recently, it has been shown that injectable intravitreal drugs that inhibit vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) are effective in the treatment of DME. ThromboGenics has gained an exclusive license from Bicycle to undertake clinical development and commercialization of identified drug candidates.
ThromboGenics will pay Bicycle an undisclosed upfront fee, development and regulatory milestone payments and royalties on sales of products resulting from the collaboration.
Dr Patrik De Haes, CEO of ThromboGenics, said: "This new agreement is further evidence of our commitment to develop and commercialize novel therapeutics targeting unmet needs in the treatment of diabetic eye diseases, such as DME. We are looking forward to evaluating these bicyclic peptides, with the aim of progressing clearly differentiated drug candidates through to the next stages of development."
Commenting on today's announcement, Dr Rolf Guenther, CEO of Bicycle Therapeutics, said: "We have used the Bicycle technology platform to identify and optimize highly selective bicyclic peptides that inhibit a target involved in vascular permeability in the picomolar range. I am delighted to enter this collaboration with Thrombogenics, a partner with a focus and successful track record in developing novel ophthalmic therapeutics, and look forward, in time, to progressing drug candidates into the clinic".
ThromboGenics is an integrated biopharmaceutical company focused on developing and commercializing innovative ophthalmic and oncology medicines. The Company's lead product, JETREA® (ocriplasmin), has been approved by the US FDA for the treatment of symptomatic VMA and was launched in January 2013.
ThromboGenics signed a strategic partnership with Alcon (Novartis) for the commercialization of JETREA® outside the United States. Under this agreement, ThromboGenics could receive up to a total of €375 million in up-front and milestone payments. It will receive significant royalties from Alcon's net sales of JETREA®. ThromboGenics and Alcon intend to share the costs equally of developing JETREA® for a number of new vitreoretinal indications.
In Europe, JETREA® is approved for the treatment of vitreomacular traction (VMT), including when associated with macular hole of diameter less than or equal to 400 microns. Alcon has launched JETREA® in the UK, Germany, Denmark, Norway, Finland and Sweden.
ThromboGenics is also further exploring anti-PIGF (Placental Growth Factor), also referred to as TB-403.
ThromboGenics is headquartered in Leuven, Belgium, and has-offices in Iselin, NJ (US) and Dublin, Ireland. The Company is listed on the NYSE Euronext Brussels exchange under the symbol THR. More information is available at http://www.thrombogenics.com.
About Bicycle Therapeutics
Bicycle Therapeutics has developed a proprietary bicyclic peptide based technology that enables the discovery of a new class of drug candidates ('bicycles') providing antibody-like affinity and selectivity in a much smaller chemically synthesized molecule. Bicycle peptides are short peptide sequences constrained by a chemical scaffold core to form a structure with two loops of amino acids. This structure confers high stability and high affinity binding to targets. The company is applying the technology to drug discovery projects in areas including oncology and ophthalmology and additional therapeutic areas through selected collaborative discovery partnerships with pharma companies.
Bicycle's technology is based on the work performed at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge by the scientific founders of the company, Prof. Christian Heinis and Sir Gregory Winter. The company is funded by Atlas Venture, Novartis Venture Fund, SVLS, SR One and Astellas Venture Management. For more information visit http://www.bicycletherapeutics.com.
Important information about forward-looking statements
Certain statements in this press release may be considered "forward-looking". Such forward-looking statements are based on current expectations, and, accordingly, entail and are influenced by various risks and uncertainties. The Company therefore cannot provide any assurance that such forward-looking statements will materialize and does not assume an obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events or any other reason. Additional information concerning risks and uncertainties affecting the business and other factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from any forward-looking statement is contained in the Company's Annual Report.
This press release does not constitute an offer or invitation for the sale or purchase of securities or assets of ThromboGenics in any jurisdiction. No securities of ThromboGenics may be offered or sold within the United States without registration under the U.S. Securities Act of 1933, as amended, or in compliance with an exemption therefrom, and in accordance with any applicable U.S. state securities laws.
For further information please contact:
Wouter Piepers, Global Head of Corporate Communications
+32-16-75-13-10 / +32-478-33-56-32
Dr. Patrik De Haes, CEO
Chris Buyse, CFO
Citigate Dewe Rogerson
David Dible/ Sita Shah
The Trout Group (US investor relations)
Todd James/ Simon Harnest