Licensing agreement for vital research
The Universities of St Andrews and Edinburgh have announced a licensing and commercialisation agreement with an emerging pharmaceutical company to develop medicine for the treatment of acute kidney failure.
The researchers at the Scottish Universities are working with NitroMed, Inc. a Massachusetts- based pharmaceutical company developing nitric oxide-enhancing medicines, used to treat renal failure.
Dr Nigel Botting, of the University of St. Andrews’ School of Chemistry is leading the organic chemistry side of research, while the Pharmacology and Therapeutics element is being led by Dr. Ian Megson, in collaboration with Professor David Webb, of the University of Edinburgh.
Acute renal failure (ARF) is characterised as a sudden deterioration in kidney function and affects about 5% of all hospitalised patients. The condition is often associated with trauma, burns, systemic infections and shock. It is a serious and life threatening condition from which more than half of the affected patients die. Currently, there are no effective drug therapies for acute renal failure. Disease management is costly and includes kidney dialysis and transplantation.
NitroMed’s agreement with the universities supports a healthcare innovations technology transfer program funded by the Wellcome Trust, which is focused on the development of early stage projects to a point where they can be further developed by the market. The universities received a prestigious Wellcome Trust biomedical research grant which is awarded to institutions that can demonstrate a significant partnership able to support the technology transfer and commercial opportunities possible from the research and discovery.
Richard Seabrook, Head of Business Development of Technology Transfer at the Wellcome Trust said “We are delighted to have helped prime another successful program, which is a potential life-saver for huge numbers of patients stricken by a very serious condition.”
The agreement provides the universities with the use of NitroMed’s intellectual property in its research and development of nitric oxide-donor drugs for the treatment of acute renal failure (ARF). In exchange, the Company has a right of first refusal to commercialise any results from the collaborative research project. NitroMed has a broad patent estate that includes worldwide rights for the use of NO in renal failure. This agreement combines NitroMed’s significant progress in the proprietary development of NO- based medicines with the preclinical and clinical expertise of the Scottish scientific team.
“We are very excited by the scientific and commercial prospects of this program,” said Michael D. Loberg, Chief Executive Officer of NitroMed.
“Critical to NitroMed’s success is the ability to translate its basic research and intellectual property estate into new medicines. The universities’ technology transfer project complements NitroMed’s own activities. We are in outstanding company with world leading scientists and clinicians from the Universities of Edinburgh and St. Andrews, who are supported by the Wellcome Trust’s technology transfer awards program.”
University of St. Andrews: Gayle Cook Press Officer 44 (0)133 446 2529/7227
University of Edinburgh: Laura MacDonald Business & Commercialisation Manager 44 (0)131 650 9045
NitroMed: Kathleen O’Donnell Director Public Affairs and Investor Relations 01-781-685-9792
Wellcome Trust: Barry Gardner Senior Media Officer 44 (0)20 7611 7329
Issued by Beattie Media On behalf of the University of St Andrews Contact Gayle Cook on 01334 467227, mobile 07900 050 103, or email [email protected] Ref: Nitromed release 10Feb2004 View the latest University news at http://www.st-andrews.ac.uk