Pharmaceutical agreement involving novel obesity compound

Bristol-Myers Squibb Company and Solvay Pharmaceuticals today announced that the companies have entered into a worldwide agreement for the Solvay compound  SLV319, which is currently in Phase I development with potential for use in treating obesity and other metabolic disorders.

The parties will jointly develop and commercialize SLV 319 on a global basis.  The agreement comprises the payment of a USD 10 million signing fee by Bristol-Myers Squibb to Solvay. Further milestone payments are scheduled to take place, based on the successful outcome of certain development and regulatory stages. The agreement is subject to clearance under the Hart Scott Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976.

SLV319 belongs to a novel class of agents called CB1 antagonists, which work by blocking the cannabinoid type 1 (CB1) receptor.  Clinical and preclinical studies involving this class of drug have shown that blocking the cannabinoid type 1 (CB1) receptor results in reduced food intake.

Solvay Pharmaceuticals head of global research and development, Dr. Werner Cautreels, says "This is an excellent deal for both companies. For Solvay, it underlines our strategy of partnering selected molecules with strong partners who bring specialized skills and know-how to enhance the development and marketing of our compounds. We are also pleased to have the endorsement of Bristol-Myers Squibb regarding the quality and promise of our CB1 discovery platform."

Over the last 30 years, the prevalence of obesity has continued to rise in both developed and developing countries around the world. In 2000, the number of obese adults was estimated to be more than 300 million worldwide. Obesity is also a component of “metabolic syndrome,” which is defined as a cluster of medical conditions that may put patients at significantly increased risk of cardiovascular complications.

"Our agreement with Solvay Pharmaceuticals serves as the latest example of our new corporate strategy, which is designed to build long-term growth by focusing on high potential disease areas with unmet medical need such as metabolics and obesity," said Peter R. Dolan, chairman and chief executive officer, Bristol-Myers Squibb. "Our company is already well established as a leader in metabolics. We look forward to leveraging this expertise as we work with our Solvay partners to continue the development of SLV319 as a potential new treatment option for obesity and other metabolic disorders.",,


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