Merck Serono, a division of Merck KGaA, has entered into an agreement that broadens the scope of the collaboration with Newron Pharmaceuticals S.p.A. The two companies are already collaborating on the development of safinamide in Parkinson’s disease.
Newron will receive a development license for two Merck clinical-stage compounds, pruvanserin and sarizotan. Merck will retain buy-back options for each compound upon completion of proof-of-concept trials. Should these options be exercised by Merck, Newron will have a co-development option. Financial terms were not disclosed.
Pruvanserin and sarizotan are highly selective compounds for specific serotonin or dopamine receptors and modulate the activity of these neurotransmitters in the brain. Both compounds exhibit pharmacological properties and have clinical data that support further evaluation and development. Newron will assess the potential of these compounds in additional preclinical experiments prior to initiating proof-of-concept studies in central nervous system (CNS) diseases.
“We are very pleased to continue building our relationship with Newron,” said Dr. Bernhard Kirschbaum, executive vice president for Global R&D at Merck Serono. “We believe that this expanded collaboration will leverage Newron’s strong expertise in the early-stage development of compounds targeting CNS indications.”