Oxurion announced that it entered into a strategic research collaboration with Beta Therapeutics (Canberra, Australia) to develop new heparanase inhibitors for the treatment of retinal disorders with large unmet medical needs such as dry age-related macular degeneration.
Under the terms of the agreement Oxurion will have an exclusive option to license in the heparanase inhibitor program. Beta Therapeutics will receive an undisclosed upfront payment from Oxurion and is eligible to receive a payment upon exercising the licensing option, development, regulatory and commercial milestone payments, as well as royalties on net sales on the products developed under the partnership.
Heparanase is an endoglycosidase playing an important role in modifying the extracellular matrix and in inflammatory processes. Over-expression of heparanase occurs under pathological conditions resulting in detrimental changes in the extracellular matrix and tissue micro-environment. In the retina, heparanase has been implicated in diabetic retinopathy (DR) and potentially in age-related macular degeneration (AMD) pathogenesis.
“We are very excited about this new collaboration with Beta Therapeutics. As our DME clinical programs are progressing well, we continue to leverage our unique knowhow and expertise for exploring, identifying and eventually acquiring innovative molecules to treat diseases in the back-of-the-eye with the highest unmet medical need such as dry age-related macular degeneration,” Patrik De Haes, MD, CEO of Oxurion, said in a company news release.
“We are pleased to collaborate on this exciting program with Oxurion as we have been impressed by their expertise in the field as well as their development capabilities. This partnership is a recognition of all the work on heparanase carried out at Beta Therapeutics and at the Australian National University “ stated Dr. Keats Nelms, CEO & Co-Founder of Beta Therapeutics.