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Ipsen to acquire Canbex Therapeutics for $10.2M

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Canbex Therapeutics has granted Ipsen, a global specialty-driven pharmaceutical company headquartered in Paris, the exclusive right to purchase 100% of Canbex shares upon completion of the phase IIa study of Canbex’s lead candidate VSN16R for the treatment of spasticity in people with multiple sclerosis (MS).

Canbex is a spinoff of University College London (UCL) that raised a Series A financing of $5.6 million in 2013 from MS Ventures (the corporate venture arm of Merck Serono), the Wellcome Trust and UCL Business.

VSN16R is a novel, orally active small molecule compound intended for the treatment of spasticity in MS and other disorders. Preclinical and phase I clinical studies have demonstrated that VSN16R has the potential to provide substantially better patient care than existing systemic anti-spastic treatments. Spasticity is a debilitating and painful symptom of MS that consists of involuntary spasms of limbs and torso musculature. With VSN16R, Canbex aims to set a new standard in the treatment of spasticity, and to improve the lives of people worldwide with this serious and incurable disorder.

VSN16R was shown to be safe and well-tolerated in its phase I clinical safety trial. In the phase I study, 72 healthy volunteers were enrolled in a placebo-controlled, single ascending- and multiple-ascending dose design.

Ipsen has paid an option fee of $6.8 million to Canbex. If Ipsen elects to exercise its option to acquire Canbex at the end of the proof-of-concept phase IIa study, Canbex’s shareholders will be eligible to receive a total of up to an additional $10.2 million, comprising an acquisition payment, and additional milestone payments contingent upon launch subsequent to achievement of clinical and regulatory success. In addition, Canbex shareholders will be eligible to receive royalties on world-wide annual net sales of VSN16R.

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