Icagen extends collaboration deal with Pfizer Print E-mail
By Staff and Wire Reports   
Thursday, 23 September 2010 08:41

Icagen, Inc. (NASDAQ:ICGN), the biopharmaceutical company focused on orally-administered small molecule drugs that modulate ion channel targets has announced an additional extension through December 2011 to an existing worldwide collaboration and licensing agreement with Pfizer Inc. (NYSE:PFE).

For the past three years, Icagen and Pfizer have partnered to identify compounds that target three specific sodium ion channels in a global research and development collaboration overseen by a joint research committee. These sodium channels are important in the generation of electrical signals in nerve fibers that mediate the initiation, transmission and sensation of pain. By selectively targeting these ion channels, the companies seek to develop effective treatments for serious pain disorders.

During the extension period, Pfizer will continue to fund all aspects of the collaboration including research efforts at both companies and all clinical development costs. Pfizer also will continue to have exclusive worldwide rights to commercialize products resulting from the collaboration. Under the terms of the extended agreement, Pfizer will provide approximately $5 million in committed funding to Icagen through December 2011. Additionally, Icagen remains eligible to receive approximately $359 million upon achievement of specified research, development, regulatory and commercialization milestones for each product. Icagen is also eligible to receive tiered royalties, against which the commercialization milestones are creditable, based upon product sales.

"We are very pleased to announce this extension of our collaboration with Pfizer," noted P. Kay Wagoner, Ph.D., President and CEO of Icagen. "The collaboration has made substantial progress, as highlighted by the recent initiation of clinical studies with compounds directed against Nav1.7. In addition, we continue to make progress in identifying additional compounds targeting the sodium channels that form the basis for the collaboration. Pfizer has brought tremendous resources to bear upon this program, and we are delighted to work with such an extraordinary group of scientists as we pursue this very exciting avenue of research."

Earlier this month, Icagen, which focuses on developing treatments for diseases like epilepsy, pain and inflammation, faced a setback when it suspended enrollment in a trial testing its experimental photosensitive epilepsy drug due to the occurrence of a "serious adverse event."

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