Neurocrine Biosciences & Xenon Pharmaceuticals to develop epilepsy treatments

Neurocrine Biosciences & Xenon Pharmaceuticals to develop epilepsy treatments
Credit: Shutterstock.com/ Chaikom

San Diego biopharma, Neurocrine Biosciences, and Canada’s Xenon Pharmaceuticals have forged a license and collaboration agreement to develop first-in-class treatments for epilepsy.

Neurocrine Biosciences gains an exclusive license to XEN901, a clinical stage selective Nav1.6 sodium channel inhibitor with potential in SCN8A developmental and epileptic encephalopathy (SCN8A-DEE) and other forms of epilepsy, including focal epilepsy.

In addition, the company gains an exclusive license to pre-clinical compounds for development, including selective Nav1.6 inhibitors and dual Nav1.2/1.6 inhibitors.

The agreement also includes a multi-year research collaboration to discover, identify and develop additional novel Nav1.6 and Nav1.2/1.6 inhibitors.

“We are excited to enter into this agreement with Xenon and leverage their expertise in precision medicine drug discovery to benefit the lives of people with epilepsy and serious neurological disorders,” said Kevin Gorman, CEO of Neurocrine Biosciences.

Simon Pimstone, CEO of Xenon, added: “Importantly, this collaboration represents a significant investment in XEN901 and Xenon’s earlier-stage Nav1.6 and Nav1.2/1.6 inhibitor programs and allows for a broader development of these promising compounds than we could accomplish independently.

“Furthermore, the additional capital from this transaction will support our efforts to advance and expand our proprietary pipeline.”