Sention to Develop Novel Merck Compounds for Mental Retardation, Sention Secures Access to Potential New Product.PROVIDENCE, R.I. -- Sention Inc. today announced that it has entered into an exclusive licensing and research collaboration agreement with Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE NYSE
See: New York Stock Exchange : MRK MRK Merck & Company (stock symbol)
MRK Mayer-Rokitansky-Kuster (anomaly)
MRK Manual Remote Keying ) to develop a family of Merck compounds known as mGluR5 antagonists as potential treatments for Fragile X mental retardation mental retardation, below average level of intellectual functioning, usually defined by an IQ of below 70 to 75, combined with limitations in the skills necessary for daily living. . Fragile X is the most commonly inherited form of mental retardation.
The use of metabotropic glutamate receptor Metabotropic glutamate receptors, or mGluRs, are a type of glutamate receptor which are active through an indirect metabotropic process. They are members of the group C family of G-protein-coupled receptors, or GPCRs. (mGluR) antagonists for the treatment of mental retardation was first suggested by Mark Bear, Ph.D., one of Sention's founders. The agreement provides Sention with access to preclinical drug candidates discovered by Merck, the development of which Sention is pursuing at its own expense with the intention of moving a candidate into clinical trials. The agreement also allows Sention to develop the drug for Down Syndrome and includes an option to develop the drug for Huntington's Disease.
"Abnormal mGluR signaling offers a clear molecular logic behind a diverse constellation of symptoms associated with Fragile X syndrome Fragile X Syndrome Definition
Fragile X syndrome is the most common form of inherited mental retardation. Individuals with this condition have developmental delay, variable levels of mental retardation, and behavioral and emotional difficulties. . An exciting prospect is that some or all of these symptoms could be improved by drug therapies that specifically target signaling by mGluRs," said Dr. Bear, Professor of Neuroscience at the Picower Center for Learning and Memory at MIT MIT - Massachusetts Institute of Technology .
Since licensing the use of mGluR antagonists for Fragile X from Dr. Bear's laboratory, Sention has worked closely with FRAXA FRAXA Fragile Site, Folic Acid Type, Rare, Fra(x)
FRAXA Fragile X Syndrome Research Foundation , the Fragile X Research Foundation, which funds some of Dr. Bear's work. "We are thrilled that these companies are collaborating to work toward providing a therapeutic option for our children. We're excited to see Dr. Bear's work move closer to the clinic and look forward to working with Sention and Merck in the hopes of seeing this happen," said Michael Tranfaglia, M.D., Medical Director and Co-Founder of FRAXA.
"Merck is pleased to enter into this collaboration," said Dennis W. Choi, M.D., Ph.D., Executive Vice President, Neuroscience at Merck. "Dr. Bear's work represents a potential scientific breakthrough, and this agreement with Sention offers the opportunity to work toward translating this science into clinical practice."
"This collaboration with one of the world's premier pharmaceutical companies represents a significant milestone for Sention," added Randall Carpenter, M.D., President and CEO (1) (Chief Executive Officer) The highest individual in command of an organization. Typically the president of the company, the CEO reports to the Chairman of the Board. of Sention. "The agreement exemplifies an ideal synthesis of academic research, non-profit foundation support, small biotech innovation and large pharmaceutical company resources and know-how. Most importantly, we hope to advance an mGluR5 antagonist into clinical development for Fragile X, a syndrome that currently has no therapeutic options."
About Sention Inc.
Sention Inc. is a pharmaceutical development company focused on the discovery and development of drugs to treat cognitive impairment and other central nervous disorders. Sention has a pipeline of proprietary compounds in preclinical development that have shown efficacy in a variety of animal models of memory, cognition, and other central nervous system conditions. Sention has two compounds in clinical trials, C105 in Phase II for cognitive impairment and SN522 in Phase I for the enhancement of learning and memory.
Sention is a privately held company privately held company
A firm whose shares are held within a relatively small circle of owners and are not traded publicly. located in Providence, RI. For more information, please visit www.sentionpharma.com.