Pfizer to Expand Neuroscience Research With Acquisition of Biotech Company Rinat Neuroscience
2006-04-06, Source: Pfizer Inc
Pfizer Inc announced today it has entered into an agreement to acquire Rinat Neuroscience Corp., a privately held biotechnology company that is developing therapeutic proteins for the treatment of diseases and disorders of the central nervous system.
"More than one billion people around the world suffer from neurological conditions and diseases, and finding new, more effective treatments for patients is a high priority for Pfizer research and development," said John LaMattina, president, Global Research and Development for Pfizer.
"Rinat is a pioneer in developing protein-based therapeutics and we see tremendous potential in its research to develop new medicines, notably for the treatment of Alzheimer's disease," he added. "Combining Rinat's potential product portfolio with Pfizer's capabilities is a further step in our strategy to enhance Pfizer's internal research and development efforts with high-potential, externally sourced product candidates and technologies."
"We are proud of the drug discovery and development progress we have made in the last 4 1/2 years," said Ron Eastman, Rinat's CEO. "Further, we are very pleased that Pfizer, the largest pharmaceutical company and a leader in neuroscience, has recognized the potential of our programs to treat significant unmet medical needs."
Pfizer has a strong presence in neuroscience through its portfolio of leading medicines for the treatment of conditions including neuropathic pain, migraine, depression, anxiety, multiple sclerosis and Alzheimer's disease. In recent years, the company has made significant internal and external investments to build a substantial research presence in biologics through a focus on key therapeutic areas that complement Pfizer's established excellence in small molecule research.
Rinat, which is developing novel approaches to neuroscience-based protein therapeutics, was founded in 2001 when Genentech, Inc. granted Rinat broad licenses to its key neuroscience assets. The most advanced new drug candidate in Rinat's pipeline is RN624, a potential new treatment for acute and chronic pain that is currently entering Phase II clinical trials. RN624 inhibits nerve growth factor (NGF) which may play a role in reducing chronic pain without side effects common in similar therapies.
Rinat is also developing RN1219 for the potential treatment of Alzheimer's disease. RN1219, a humanized monoclonal antibody, has been shown to reduce amyloid plaque in pre-clinical studies. The buildup of amyloid deposits in the brain contributes to the progressive death of nerve cells that occurs in Alzheimer's patients. Rinat has additional compounds in late pre-clinical development for migraine prophylaxis and cachexia as well as discovery programs in obesity, pain, neuropathy and Parkinson's disease.
The acquisition is subject to customary closing conditions (including approval under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976), and is expected to close by mid-year 2006. Lazard and Covington and Burling advised Pfizer on this transaction. Lehman Brothers and Wilson, Sonsini, Goodrich and Rosati advised Rinat Neuroscience. The financial terms of thetransaction were not disclosed.