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Autifony enters into exclusive global license and collaboration agreement with Jazz Pharmaceuticals on two ion channel targets for neurological disorders

Autifony Therapeutics Limited, which is pioneering the development of novel pharmaceutical treatments for rare CNS disorders and other serious brain diseases, has entered into an exclusive global licensing agreement with Jazz Pharmaceuticals plc for up to $770.5 million to discover and develop drug candidates targeting two different ion channel targets associated with neurological disorders.

Autifony will lead drug discovery and preclinical development activities on the two targets. Subsequent to successful completion of such preclinical development, Jazz will lead all clinical development, manufacturing and regulatory activities and commercialization.

Under the terms of the agreement, Autifony will receive an upfront payment from Jazz and is eligible to receive development, regulatory and commercial milestone payments across the two programmes. The upfront and milestone payments have a combined total value of up to $770.5 million. Autifony is also eligible to receive royalties on future net sales.

Dr Charles Large, Chief Executive Officer of Autifony Therapeutics, said: “We are excited to be working with Jazz Pharmaceuticals on two novel ion channel targets, on which we can bring to bear Autifony’s long standing expertise in small molecule ion channel drug discovery and development.

“Jazz has an exceptional track record of rapidly advancing neuroscience development programmes and effectively commercializing novel therapies that offer improvements over current standards of care. These programmes have the potential to bring ground-breaking benefits to patients in a range of indications.”

Autifony is leveraging its pioneering scientific expertise and proprietary ion channel drug discovery platform to generate a pipeline of small molecule modulators that selectively target specific subtypes of ion channels.

Ion channels are vital to many physiological functions including the activity of nerves and muscles. They are membrane proteins that act as gated pathways for the movement of ions across cell membranes. Increasingly, a number of diseases have been associated with defects in ion channel function.

Many of these diseases are the result of mutations in the genes encoding ion channel proteins, and they are now known as the ‘channelopathies’. Targeting these channels offers opportunities for precision medicine in diseases that have been difficult to treat in the past.


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