Bionomics Announces Update on the a7 Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptor (nAChR) Positive Allosteric Modulator (PAM) Collaboration with MSD
ADELAIDE, Australia, and CAMBRIDGE, Mass., Sept. 14, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Bionomics Limited (Nasdaq: BNOX) (Bionomics or Company), a clinical-stage biotechnology company developing novel, first-in-class, allosteric ion channel modulators to treat patients suffering from serious central nervous system (“CNS”) disorders with high unmet medical need, today announced an update on the company’s a7 Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptor (nAChR) Positive Allosteric Modulator (PAM) collaboration with MSD (known as Merck & Co., Inc., Rahway NJ, USA in the US and Canada). Data for MK-4334, a novel clinical candidate developed by MSD and derived from Bionomics’ original a7 nAChR PAM candidate (BNC375), was recently presented at the Society for Chemical Industry (SCI) and Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) 22nd Medicinal Chemistry Symposium, held in Cambridge, UK, September 10-13, 2023.
“Bionomics has a long-standing collaboration with MSD to identify novel a7 nAChR PAMs suitable for the treatment of cognitive disorders that address the limitations seen with nAChR agonists, such as lack of selectivity against related ligand-gated ion channels, desensitization of the receptor with sustained exposure, and an inverted U-shaped dose response function,” said Spyros Papapetropoulos, M.D., Ph.D., President and CEO of Bionomics. “We are excited to see the progress being made in our collaboration with MSD.”
The original lead molecule BNC375, a Type I a7 nAChR PAM, showed a robust and sustained dose-dependent efficacy over a broad dose range and across multiple cognitive animal models. MSD has subsequently developed MK-4334, a novel clinical candidate, which in early preclinical studies has shown improved drug like and pharmacological properties relative to BNC375. In addition to Phase 1 safety, tolerability and clinical pharmacokinetics studies, clinical biomarker studies are ongoing to further evaluate the pharmacological response of a7 nAChR PAMs in humans.
Under the 2014 exclusive Research Collaboration and License Agreement, MSD funds all research and clinical development, and worldwide commercialization of any resulting products. This collaboration genrated payments of $20M upfront and $10M for a Phase 1 milestone. Bionomics is eligible to receive up to $465M in additional milestone payments for certain development and commercial milestones plus royalties on net sales of licensed drugs.
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About Bionomics Limited
Bionomics (NASDAQ:BNOX) is a clinical-stage biotechnology company developing novel, first-in-class, allosteric ion channel modulators to treat patients suffering from serious central nervous system (“CNS”) disorders with high unmet medical need. Bionomics is advancing its lead drug candidate, BNC210, an oral, proprietary, selective negative allosteric modulator of the a7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor, for the acute treatment of Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD) and chronic treatment of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Beyond BNC210, Bionomics has a strategic partnership with MSD (known as Merck & Co., Inc., Rahway NJ, USA in the US and Canada) with two drugs in early-stage clinical trials for the treatment of cognitive deficits in Alzheimer’s disease and other central nervous system conditions. Bionomics’ pipeline also includes preclinical assets that target Kv3.1/3.2 and Nav1.7/1.8 ion channels being developed for CNS conditions of high unmet need.
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