Ark grants licence to Boehringer Ingelheim
Therapeutics have signed an agreement granting BI exclusive rights
to Ark's intellectual property in relation to BI therapies
affecting the renin-angiotensin system.
There is increasing interest in the use of drugs, which affect the renin-angiotensin system (a natural hormone cascade) in treating vascular related conditions. Chemicals within the body's renin-angiotensin system are known to play a significant role in determining the ability of mitochondria to generate the energy for cells to survive.
Market research data suggest the sales of these compounds is likely to increase significantly in the future as physicians switch to newer therapies in this growing market, driven by population aging and an increasing prevalence of vascular disease-related events.
Renin is a enzyme in the formation of the neuropeptide angiotensin II, which controls vascular tone, fluid volume and sodium excretion. The renin-angiotensin system has already been established as a target of drug therapy, e.g. when angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors are used to prevent the formation of angiotensin II and lower blood pressure in hypertensive patients or the effects of angiotensin II are blocked using receptor-blocking agents.
Under the terms of the agreement Ark receives a material upfront payment on signing and several multi million payments over the next few years on the achievement of certain pre-defined milestones. In addition, Ark will receive royalties on sales of a Boehringer Ingelheim product for the treatment of patients in certain cardiovascular related indication areas for which Ark is able to secure and maintain a valid patent.
Ongoing clinical studies such as Boehringer Ingelheim's Profess and Ontarget Transcend trial program are being performed in order to accumulate clinical evidence about their effectiveness in reducing the incidence of such conditions.
Dr Nigel Parker, chief executive of Ark Therapeutics, commented: "The novel work of Ark's scientists and collaborators has contributed to a wider understanding of the potential utility of this class of drugs in a range of disorders."
Parker added that such was the importance of this research area, Ark could grant further licences in the future to other companies.