Ferrer and Asceneuron sign licensing agreement to develop PSP drug
The agreement was signed with Swiss clinical-stage biotech company, Asceneuron, and the two companies said they were pleased this happened just before this year’s World Disease Day on Tuesday (February 28),
PSP is a rare neurological condition which typically presents at around 60 years of age and causes severe problems related to walking, balance, speech, swallowing and vision and is a a result of the accumulation of aggregates of the tau protein in the brain.
The disease gets progressively worse, causing severe disability within three to five years of onset. It is estimated that three to six people per 100,000 will develop PSP and there is currently no known cure for the disease.
Mario Rovirosa, Ferrer’s chief executive officer, said: “This is yet another meaningful example of how Ferrer moves forward guided by its purpose of making a positive impact in society. As a B Corp company, we are proud of our people’s commitment to delivering the best possible solutions for those in need.”
Ferrer will now be able to develop and commercialize ASN90 in PSP which an orphan, tau-related disease with a high unmet medical need and both companies said this agreement underscores the commitments they have undertaken to improve the lives of patients with a rare disease, such as PSP.
Dirk Beher, chief executive officer and co-founder of Asceneuron, said: “This licensing agreement with Ferrer is important news for patients suffering from PSP and their families. Asceneuron, as a neurodegeneration-focused company, will continue expanding the application of OGA mechanism in other diseases in addition to developing further programs in some of the largest unmet medical need indications in neurology.”
The terms of the agreement include an upfront fee and multiple development, regulatory and commercial milestone payments. Asceneuron is also eligible to receive tiered double-digit royalties on worldwide net sales of ASN90.
Oscar Pérez, chief business development and global alliances officer at Ferrer, added: “Researching a cure for such a devastating condition that lacks available therapeutic options fits perfectly with Ferrer’s mission to develop transformative treatments. We are seeking to generate life-changing solutions for people with PSP. ASN90 is a very promising addition to our growing portfolio in neurological disorders, making Ferrer an increasingly relevant player in the field of neuroscience.”
Ferrer will now conduct a phase 2 clinical study to determine the efficacy and optimal dose range of ASN90.