Ferrer secures worldwide rights to PSP drug

Tau proteins aggregate to neurofibrillary tangles in a neuron axon

Spanish pharma company Ferrer and Swiss biotech Asceneuron have signed a licensing agreement giving Ferrer the rights to ASN90 in progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP), an orphan, tau-related disease with a high unmet medical need. 

The terms of the agreement include an upfront fee and multiple development, regulatory and commercial milestone payments. Asceneuron is also eligible to receive tiered double-digit royalties on worldwide net sales of ASN90. 

Dirk Beher, Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder of Asceneuron, commented: “This licensing agreement with Ferrer is important news for patients suffering from PSP and their families. Asceneuron, as a neurodegeneration-focused company, will continue expanding the application of OGA mechanism in other diseases in addition to developing further programs in some of the largest unmet medical need indications in neurology.” 

Ferrer will now conduct a Phase II clinical study to determine the efficacy and optimal dose range of ASN90. 

Oscar Pérez, Chief Business Development and Global Alliances Officer at Ferrer, added: “We are seeking to generate life-changing solutions for people with PSP. ASN90 is a very promising addition to our growing portfolio in neurological disorders.” 

PSP is a rare neurological condition which typically presents at around 60 years of age and causes severe problems related to walking, balance, speech, swallowing and vision as a result of the accumulation of aggregates of the tau protein in the brain. 

The disease gets progressively worse, causing severe disability within three to five years of onset. It is estimated that three to six people per 100,000 will develop PSP and there is currently no known cure for the disease.

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