TORONTO, May 15, 2014 /CNW/ - Portage Biotech Inc. ("Portage") (OTCQB: PTGEF, Canadian Stock Exchange: PBT.U), is pleased to inform that its wholly owned subsidiary, Portage
Pharmaceuticals Ltd.(PPL or the Company) has entered into a materials
collaborative research and development agreement (M-CRADA) with the
National Eye Institute, one of the National Institutes of Health.
Portage will provide its lead cell permeable peptide targeting
inflammatory diseases to Dr. Robert B. Nussenblatt to investigate its
efficacy in animal models of uveitis. Portage will also provide
financial support for these studies.
"This agreement will enable Portage to benefit from Dr. Nussenblatt's
great depth of knowledge and experience in the area of inflammatory eye
diseases while providing tools to further the understanding of the
pathogenesis of these diseases and possibly a new therapeutic approach
that could be a great benefit to patients" says Dr. Bruce Littman, CEO
of Portage Pharmaceuticals.
Portage is engaged in researching and developing pharmaceutical and
biotech products through to clinical "proof of concept" with an initial
focus on unmet clinical needs. Following proof of concept, Portage will
look to sell or license the products to large pharmaceutical companies
for further development and commercialization.
Apart from PPL, Portage holds 54% equity in Biohaven Pharmaceutical
Holding Company Limited ("Biohaven"). Biohaven is engaged in the
identification and development of clinical stage neuroscience compounds
targeting the glutamatergic system. The company obtained a license from
Yale University regarding intellectual property for the use of certain
glutamate modulating agents in the treatment of neuropsychiatric
disorders. Biohaven's first drug candidate is being developed for
treatment-resistant mood and anxiety disorders. The lead drug candidate
is a Phase 2 ready compound and will enter clinical testing for
treatment-resistant mood or anxiety disorders next year. A second
unique drug candidate also targeting the glutamatergic system has a
well-established safety profile and will begin optimization of its
formulation in 2014.
Portage is seeking discovery and co-development partners in areas such
as cancer, infectious disease, neurology and psychiatry developing
novel targeted therapies, and even older marketed products that have
been found to have novel patentable characteristics that bring new
value to patients.
Portage seeks to work with a wide range of partners, in all phases of
development through in-licensing or other types of alliances. The
collaboration may include direct funding or investing human capital
from our extensive pool of talented scientists and physicians.
Specifically Portage will invest sweat equity as well as, or instead
of, capital. This internal pool of drug developers, financiers,
scientists and physicians will provide unique value-add for our
partners including but not limited to mitigating risks, clinical trial
design, regulatory expertise and maximizing the rewards.
For further information, contact Dr. Greg Bailey, the Chairman at email@example.com or Kam Shah, Chief Financial Officer, at (416) 929-1806 or firstname.lastname@example.org or visit our website at www.portagebiotech.com.
This news release includes forward-looking statements within the meaning
of the U.S. federal and Canadian securities laws. Any such statements
reflect Portage's current views and assumptions about future events and
financial performance. Portage cannot assure that future events or
performance will occur. Important risks and factors that could cause
actual results or events to differ materially from those indicated in
our forward-looking statements.
Portage assumes no obligation and expressly disclaims any duty to update
the information in this News Release.
SOURCE: Portage Biotech Inc.