Amarantus, RBCC target NuroPro Parkinson's diagnostic for joint venture

Wednesday, October 10, 2012 11:03 AM

Amarantus BioSciences, a Sunnyvale, Calif.-based biotech focused on brain-related disorders including Parkinson's disease and traumatic brain injury (TBI), and Rainbow Coral (RBCC), a biotech subsidiary Rainbow BioSciences, have selected NuroPro, Amarantus' Parkinson's disease blood test in development, as the target product candidate for the proposed joint venture.

"This is a cutting edge approach to diagnosing a debilitating disease that afflicts millions of people worldwide," said Patrick Brown, CEO of RBCC. "The marketplace is crying out for new breakthroughs in the diagnosis of neurological diseases, and we believe NuroPro has the potential to accurately diagnose people who suffer from Parkinson's disease, allowing physicians to initiate treatment regimens earlier, as well as conduct clinical research on disease-modifying treatments in development on a younger population of patients."

The deal is being structured to enable completion of the final stages of the NuroPro program, resulting in a commercially viable product to be introduced to the market place. The NuroPro test, which has completed phase I trials, works by measuring differentiated levels of biomarkers from blood serum in people who have Parkinson's disease.

The companies expect to initiate a phase II clinical study in 2013. The companies anticipate that upon successfully completing phase II, NuroPro will be introduced into the marketplace as a Laboratory Developed Test (LDT) in a Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendment (CLIA) certified laboratory prior to initiating a regulatory process with the FDA.

"Our focus on Parkinson's disease has allowed us to gain considerable traction with partners who understand the potential value of the technologies we have in-house," said Gerald E. Commissiong, president and CEO of Amarantus. "This transaction will allow Amarantus to gain significant upside in revenues derived from the NuroPro asset while defraying the costs of the project in order to focus our internal resources on the MANF program for Parkinson's disease. As NuroPro advances towards commercialization, it could become a key competitive advantage for our MANF clinical development program."

The market for Parkinson's could grow to a value of $3.75 billion by 2015, according to a report last year by Visiongain analysts. RBCC expects a deal with Amarantus to help position the company to capitalize on that growth and generate revenue in the near-term. Amarantus expects a deal with RBCC to further enable the development of the MANF program.

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