Date: 2013-12-19

Type of information: Licensing agreement

Compound: alpha-2c adrenoceptor antagonists including a clinical phase compound ORM-12741

Company: Orion Corporation (Finland) Janssen Pharmaceuticals (J&J - USA)

Therapeutic area: Neurodegenerative diseases

Type agreement:


Action mechanism:

ORM-12741 is a selective alpha-2C adrenoceptor (AR) antagonist. It is the first drug developed to target this specific subtype of adrenergic receptors in the brain. Orion research team believes that in conditions like Alzheimer\'s disease, psychotic disorders and depression the impaired cognitive functioning of the patients is further worsened with varying degrees of stress and that alpha-2C adrenoceptor antagonist blockade can provide beneficial stabilization of neurotransmission and improve both cognitive performance and behavioral symptoms. In line with this ORM-12741 has demonstrated efficacy in rodent models suggesting beneficial effects on these symptoms.

Disease: Alzheimer\'s disease


* On December 19, 2013Orion Corporation and Janssen Pharmaceuticals have entered into a license agreement for the development and commercialization of Orion\'s novel, investigational alpha-2c adrenoceptor antagonists for the symptoms of Alzheimer\'s disease, including a clinical phase compound ORM-12741. Under the terms of the agreement, Orion will have exclusive commercialization rights in Europe and will grant Janssen a worldwide exclusive license to develop ORM-12741 and other compounds of alpha-2c platform. Janssen will have an exclusive right to commercialize these compounds outside Europe. Orion and Janssen will co-fund the development after an additional Phase IIa study is completed successfully by Orion.
Orion has completed a Phase IIa clinical trial with ORM-12741 and presented the results at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Neurology in March 2013. The trial investigated the efficacy and safety of the drug candidate in treatment of cognitive and behavioral symptoms related to Alzheimer\'s disease and showed significant positive effects on episodic memory in patients with moderately ill patients. ORM-12741 was generally well tolerated in the study.

Financial terms:

According to the agreement, Orion will receive an upfront payment of $31 million and is eligible to receive milestone payments from Janssen upon successful completion of certain development and commercialization events, as well as royalties on future sales. Orion will use the majority of the up-front payment over the next few years against the costs of the additional Phase IIa study sponsored by Orion.

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