Prothena to Receive $30 Million Upfront Payment from Roche Triggered by the Expiration of Hart-Scott-Rodino Waiting Period
DUBLIN, Ireland, Jan. 23, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Prothena Corporation plc
(Nasdaq:PRTA), a clinical stage biotechnology company focused on the discovery,
development and commercialization of novel antibodies for the potential
treatment of diseases that involve protein misfolding and cell adhesion,
announced today that, pursuant to its License, Development, and
Commercialization Agreement with Roche, it will receive the $30 million upfront
payment from Roche as a result of the License Agreement having become effective
upon the expiration of the Hart-Scott-Rodino waiting period.
"This initial payment of $30 million marks the beginning of Prothena's
collaboration with Roche, to co-develop and potentially co-commercialize
PRX002," said Dale Schenk, PhD, President and Chief Executive Officer of
Prothena. "Prothena and Roche aim to develop PRX002 as a disease modifying
treatment for Parkinson's disease and potentially other synucleinopathies, and
so we very much look forward to working with Roche to initiate Phase 1 studies
for PRX002 in the coming months."
As previously announced in December 2013, Prothena entered into a worldwide
collaboration with Roche to develop and commercialize antibodies that target
alpha-synuclein, including PRX002, Prothena's monoclonal antibody for the
treatment of patients with Parkinson's disease, which is currently in
preclinical development and is expected to enter Phase 1 clinical trials this
Alpha-synuclein, is found extensively in neurons and is a major component of
pathological inclusions that characterize several neurodegenerative disorders,
including Parkinson's disease, dementia with Lewy bodies, neurodegeneration with
brain iron accumulation type 1, and multiple system atrophy, which collectively
are termed synucleinopathies.
About Parkinson's disease
Parkinson's disease is the second most common neurodegenerative disorder after
Alzheimer's disease. There are an estimated seven to ten million patients with
Parkinson's disease worldwide. Current treatments for Parkinson's disease are
effective at managing the early motor symptoms of the disease, mainly through
the use of levodopa and dopamine agonists. As the disease progresses and
dopaminergic neurons continue to be lost, these drugs eventually become less
effective at treating the symptoms.
PRX002, a monoclonal antibody targeting alpha-synuclein, has been tested in
various cellular and animal models of synuclein-related disease. Passive
immunization with 9E4, the murine version of PRX002, in multiple transgenic
mouse models of Parkinson's disease reduced the appearance of synuclein
pathology, protected synaptic connections and improved performance by the mice
in behavioral testing. PRX002 may slow or reduce the progressive
neurodegeneration associated with synuclein misfolding and/or the cell-to-cell
transmission of the pathogenic forms of synuclein.
Prothena Corporation plc is a clinical stage biotechnology company focused on
the discovery, development and commercialization of novel antibodies for the
potential treatment of diseases that involve protein misfolding and cell
adhesion. These potential therapies have a number of indications, including AL
and AA forms of amyloidosis (NEOD001), Parkinson's disease and related
synucleinopathies (PRX002), and novel cell adhesion targets involved in
inflammatory diseases and metastatic cancers (PRX003). For more information,
please visit www.prothena.com.
This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the
Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities
Exchange Act of 1934. These statements relate to, among other things, the timing
of Prothena's receipt of $30 million upfront payment from Roche, the amount of
Roche's economic participation in the development of PRX002, the ability of
Prothena and Roche to successfully research, develop and commercialize
antibodies that target alpha-synuclein (including PRX002), the efficacy of
PRX002 as a treatment for Parkinson's disease or other synucleinopathies, and
the expected timing of clinical development of Prothena's product candidates,
including Phase 1 clinical trials for PRX002. These forward-looking statements
are identified by their use of terms and phrases such as "anticipate,"
"believe," "could," "should," "estimate," "expect," "intend," "may," "plan,"
"predict," "project," "potential," "target," "will" and similar terms and
phrases, including references to assumptions. These statements are based on
assumptions that may not prove accurate. Actual results could differ materially
from those anticipated due to known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other
factors including, but not limited to the risks and uncertainties described in
Prothena's SEC filings, including the "Risk Factors" section of Prothena's
Annual Report on Form 10-K and Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q. Prothena
undertakes no obligation to update publicly any forward-looking statements
contained in this press release as a result of new information, future events or
changes in Prothena's expectations.
CONTACT: Investors: Tran Nguyen, CFO
Media: Anita Kawatra
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Source: Prothena Corporation via GlobeNewswire