Pharmascience Inc. regains global rights for IAP inhibitor oncology program AEG40826 (HGS1029) from Human Genome Sciences

MONTREAL, Dec. 11, 2012 /CNW/ - Pharmascience Inc. today announced that it has regained global rights to AEG40826, a best-in-class Phase 1b-ready injectable IAP (inhibitor of apoptosis) inhibitor along with all back-up and follow-on compounds, including multiple orally-bioavailable IAP inhibitors, as part of an agreed-upon termination of its oncology collaboration with Human Genome Sciences (HGS), which was acquired by GlaxoSmithKline in July 2012.

During the collaboration, HGS conducted Phase 1a trials of AEG40826 (formerly HGS1029) in cancer patients and collaborated with the Aegera Therapeutics (part of Pharmascience Inc.) research team to identify and nominate highly differentiated back-up and follow-on IAP inhibitors.

"We are pleased to regain full control of AEG40826, which we believe has the potential to become the leading IAP inhibitor in view of its differentiated and highly favourable product profile. We intend to aggressively explore multiple development and partnering opportunities simultaneously to establish the best path forward for AEG40826," stated Dr. David Goodman, Chief Executive Officer, Pharmascience Inc.

"We believe that regaining rights to our AEG40826 IAP inhibitor oncology program, poised for Phase 1b combination studies, will provide us much greater flexibility and control in the clinical development of AEG40826 and the back-up and follow-on compounds, as well as the opportunity to pursue new collaborations. We strongly believe in the therapeutic potential of our IAP inhibitors in combination with other anti-cancer agents including chemotherapeutics, TNFR Superfamily agonists and other biologics for which we have compelling preclinical proof-of-concept. We intend to validate this hypothesis in Phase 1b and beyond, preferably with the right partner, but at this time, all options are on the table," commented Dr. Tristan Booth, Vice President, Clinical and Innovative Development at Pharmascience.

About the AEG40826/IAP Inhibitor Collaboration and License Agreement
In December 2007, Aegera Therapeutics Inc. (acquired by Pharmascience Inc. in May 2011) and Human Genome Sciences, Inc. completed a Collaboration and License Agreement providing HGS with exclusive worldwide rights (excluding Japan) to develop and commercialize AEG40826 (HGS1029) and other small molecule IAP inhibitors in oncology. The collaboration and license agreement was executed the same day Aegera filed the investigational new drug (IND) application for AEG40826, which was cleared by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in early 2008.

About the AEG40826 IAP Inhibitor Oncology Program
AEG40826 is the most potent small molecule pan-IAP inhibitor in development. It has demonstrated very promising preclinical activity across a broad range of cancers, particularly in combination with chemotherapeutics agents, TNFR Superfamily agonist mAbs and other biologics.

In Phase 1a cancer studies, AEG40826 has demonstrated profound and sustained pharmacodynamic activity on its target(s) and shown a good tolerability profile. Preclinical evidence along with data from the Phase 1a studies strongly support the initiation of Phase 1b combination studies.

In addition to pursuing the development of AEG40826, HGS collaborated with the Aegera discovery research team over a period of four years to identify and nominate highly differentiated back-up/follow-on IAP inhibitors. As a result of a very successful research collaboration and remarkable work of the Aegera team, multiple back-up/follow-on development candidates, including several orally bioavailable compounds, were nominated and are poised for IND-enabling development.

About Pharmascience Inc.
Founded in 1983 in Montreal, where its headquarters remain, privately held Pharmascience Inc. is Quebec's largest manufacturer of generic drugs. Through its International Division, its products are exported to 60 countries around the world. It also makes and distributes patented prescription and over-the-counter treatments through its Pendopharm division. Aegera Therapeutics is a drug discovery unit of Pharmascience, which is one of Canada's leading corporate investors in research and development and employs more than 1,300 people, primarily in Montreal. Over the past five years, Pharmascience has donated products with a wholesale value of $23.5 million for overseas humanitarian use, making it one of the most generous product donors in the Canadian pharmaceutical industry.

SOURCE: Pharmascience inc.

For further information:

Mathieu Boudreau, Ph.D.
Director, Business Development & Strategic Planning
(514) 340-9800 ext. 3160
Silvie Letendre
Director of Corporate Affairs and Communications
(514) 340-9800 ext. 3425
Mobile : (514) 979-7577

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