TORONTO, May 8, 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 Collaborative Research Agreement with Yale University to study the biological activity and cell penetrating properties of peptides developed by Portage and by Professor Alanna Schepartz, of Yale's Department of Chemistry. These studies will compare the ability of these peptides to cross cell membranes and deliver biologically active cargo to an intracellular target.
Dr. Bruce Littman, CEO of the Company commented, "This is a win-win for all parties as we will learn more about the physical properties of our peptides and Professor Schepartz will see if her peptides are able to convey biologically active cargo into cells that lead to changes in cell function."
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, stem cell therapy 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 protected] or Kam Shah, Chief Financial Officer, at (416) 929-1806 or [email protected] 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.
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