Successful spin-out

Proximagen Neuroscience has agreed a $232m worldwide licensing deal with a leading American pharmaceutical company.


Proximagen Neuroscience, one of King College London’s most successful spin-out companies, has agreed a $232m worldwide licensing deal with a leading American pharmaceutical company to develop a new drug for Parkinson’s disease.


The agreement with Upsher-Smith Laboratories is for the development and commercialisation of PRX-1, a preclinical stage product for the symptomatic treatment of Parkinson’s disease.


PRX-1 is designed to improve on L-DOPA, the current gold-standard treatment for Parkinson’s disease. The compound has shown significantly increased biological half-life and improved effect in pre-clinical studies compared with L-DOPA, and Proximagen says this could represent a significant advancement in treatment, reducing the peaks and troughs in blood levels that currently make normal movement unpredictable during the day. 


As part of the deal, Upsher-Smith will make a $6m equity investment in Proximagen, giving it 7.1 per cent holding.


Proximagen is a drug discovery and development company seeking new treatments for neurodegenerative diseases. It was formed around the research and expertise of King’s Professor of Pharmacology Peter Jenner and spun out from King’s College London in 2003.


It floated on AIM in 2005, raising £14.5m and bringing a £1m windfall for King’s. The College remains a major shareholder in the company.


Upsher-Smith is privately held company based in Minneapolis, Minnesota, which develops branded and generic products in the therapeutic areas of women’s health, dermatology, cardiology and neurology.