Orion Corporation signs license agreement with Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc. for the development and commercialization of its novel treatment for Alzheimer's disease
ORION CORPORATIONÂ Â Â Â STOCK EXCHANGE RELEASEÂ 19 DECEMBER 2013 atÂ 7.45
Orion Corporation (Nasdaq OMX Helsinki: ORNAV and ORNBV) announced today that it
has entered into a license agreement with Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc. for the
development and commercialization of Orion's novel, investigational alpha-2c
adrenoceptor antagonists for the symptoms of Alzheimer's disease, including a
clinical phase compound ORM-12741.
According to the agreement, Orion will receive an upfront payment of USD 31
million and is eligible to receive milestone payments from Janssen upon
successful completion of certain development and commercialization events, as
well as royalties on future sales. Orion will use the majority of the up-front
payment over the next few years against the costs of the additional Phase IIa
study sponsored by Orion.
Under the terms of the agreement, Orion will have exclusive commercialization
rights in Europe and will grant Janssen a worldwide exclusive license to develop
ORM-12741 and other compounds of alpha-2c platform. Janssen will have an
exclusive right to commercialize these compounds outside Europe. Orion and
Janssen will co-fund the development after an additional Phase IIa study is
completed successfully by Orion.
The agreement causes no change on Orion's full-year 2013 outlook.
Dr. Reijo Salonen, Senior Vice President of R&D at Orion commented:
"In our collaboration with Janssen, I believe we will have the best of all
worlds," said Dr. Reijo Salonen, SVP R&D and Chief Medical Officer for
Orion.Â "At Janssen, there is a track record of success and commitment of
developing therapies in Neurosciences; at Orion, we have a track record of
inventing innovative molecules; and for Alzheimer patients, we hope that this
partnership will bring them a novel medicine that will make an important
difference to their lives."
Orion has completed Phase IIa clinical trial with ORM-12741 and presented the
results at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Neurology in March
2013. The trial investigated the efficacy and safety of the drug candidate in
treatment of cognitive and behavioral symptoms related to Alzheimer's disease
and showed significant positive effects on episodic memory in patients with
moderately ill patients. ORM-12741 was generally well tolerated in the study.
ORM-12741 is a highly potent and selective alpha-2C adrenoceptor (AR)
antagonist. It is the first drug developed to target this specific subtype of
adrenergic receptors in the brain. The research team believes that in conditions
like Alzheimer's disease, psychotic disorders and depression the impaired
cognitive functioning of the patients is further worsened with varying degrees
of stress and that alpha-2C adrenoceptor antagonist blockade can provide
beneficial stabilization of neurotransmission and improve both cognitive
performance and behavioral symptoms. In line with this ORM-12741 has
demonstrated efficacy in rodent models suggesting beneficial effects on these
Read the study poster at: http://www.orion.fi/congress-publications
About Alzheimer's disease
Alzheimer's disease is the most common form of dementia and contributes roughly
to 60-70 % of cases. It is a progressive brain disease that slowly destroys
brain cells. The symptoms of Alzheimer's disease include difficulties in
remembering recent events, and particularly in more advanced disease, behavioral
symptoms like agitation, delusions and depression. The pathophysiology of AD is
related to the injury and death of neurons, initiating in the hippocampus brain
region that is involved with memory and learning. The cause of Alzheimer's
disease is still not completely understood and, like many other chronic
neurological conditions, it is believed that Alzheimer's disease is a complex
result of various factors.
At the moment, there is no cure available for Alzheimer's disease and current
treatments have only moderate effects on the symptoms of the disease. According
to the World Alzheimer Report 2012 published by Alzheimer's disease
International, there were 36 million people diagnosed with dementia in 2010
Timo Lappalainen Â Â Olli Huotari
President and CEO SVP, Corporate Functions
Reijo Salonen, Senior Vice President, Research and Development, Orion
tel. +358 50 966 3647
Orionintie 1A, FI-02200 Espoo, Finland
Orion is a globally operating Finnish company developing pharmaceuticals and
diagnostic tests - a builder of well-being. Orion develops, manufactures and
markets human and veterinary pharmaceuticals, active pharmaceutical ingredients
and diagnostic tests. The company is continuously developing new drugs and
treatment methods. Pharmaceutical R&D focuses on central nervous system drugs,
oncology and critical care drugs, and EasyhalerÂ® pulmonary drugs.
Orion's net sales in 2012 amounted to EUR 980 million and the company had about
3,500 employees. Orion's A and B shares are listed on NASDAQ OMX Helsinki.
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