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UPJOHN CNS CODEVELOPMENT/COMARKETING PACT WITH BOEHRINGER INGELHEIM

Executive Summary

UPJOHN CNS CODEVELOPMENT/COMARKETING PACT WITH BOEHRINGER INGELHEIM covers four compounds in various stages of clinical development. Announced Nov. 20, the worldwide codevelopment and comarketing agreement covers pramipexole for Parkinson's Disease and schizophrenia, a serotonin 5HT receptor antagonist for prevention of vomiting and nausea and two potential treatments for Alzheimer's disease -- WAL-2014 and CFM-19. The Boehringer Ingelheim arrangement is in line with Upjohn's stated strategy of seeking codevelopment and marketing pacts with other companies as a way of supplementing Upjohn's own in-house R&D program. Upjohn has entered into over a dozen collaborative agreements since 1988, including a number of agreements with European firms that have a relatively small presence in the U.S. such as Hoechst-Roussel and Solvay. For Boehringer, the deal provides R&D and marketing assistance from a company with significant CNS experience. B-I said the Upjohn deal allows it to be "able to complete development of its range of CNS substances." Historically, B-I's R&D efforts have been focused on respiratory, cardiovascular, immunology/inflammatory diseases and viral infections. Pramipexole is the furthest along of the four compounds. The "orally active dopamine-like drug" is in Phase III trials for the treatment of Parkinson's and in Phase II for schizophrenia, the two companies reported. The 5HT receptor antagonist is in Phase II study for the treatment of nausea and vomiting. If it makes it to the market, the drug will compete against a number of compounds in the same class, such as Glaxo's currently marketed Zofran (ondansetron) and SmithKline Beecham's Kytril (granisetron), which is pending at FDA. The two Alzheimer's drugs "are beginning Phase I clinical testing...and apply different approaches to the correction of a deficiency of acetylcholine," Upjohn said. WAL-2014 is described as an M selective agonist and CFM-19 is a blocker of the adenosine A receptor, Upjohn noted.
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