Abbott to acquire the global rights to PanGenetics' new therapeutic for treatment of chronic pain

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PanGenetics, an antibody development company which is developing PG110, a humanized antibody to Nerve Growth Factor (NGF), today announced it has entered into an agreement with Abbott (NYSE: ABT) under which Abbott will acquire the global rights to this novel biologic. PG110 is currently in a Phase 1 clinical trial in patients with osteoarthritis and represents a promising new therapeutic for the treatment of chronic pain. The agreement includes an upfront payment of $170 million plus additional milestone payments, for a total of up to $190 million.

Kevin Johnson, CEO of PanGenetics, commented: “We are very pleased to hand the keys of the development of our anti-NGF antibody to such an outstanding organization as Abbott and one which is fully committed to bringing breakthrough new therapies to the marketplace.”

PanGenetics has received funding from a number of leading European investors, including Index Ventures, Forbion Capital Partners, Edmond de Rothschild Investment Partners (EdRIP) and Credit Agricole Private Equity. Fortis Private Equity Belgium and Biogen-Idec New Ventures also participated in the company’s last funding round.

Index Ventures partner and Chairman of the board, Francesco de Rubertis said: “We congratulate the experienced development team for bringing the antibody forward in such an efficient way. They have done an extraordinary job of building this company from the ground up and the acquisition of this antibody by Abbott is testament to their expertise in the therapeutic antibody development field.”

Pain is the number one reason people go to see a doctor. There are an estimated 72 million diagnosed chronic pain patients in the U.S. and EU and up to 30 percent of chronic pain patients get inadequate relief. Current treatments consist of NSAIDs, selective Cox-2 inhibitors, opioids, and other analgesics that are dosed daily and have various tolerability and safety issues, including the potential for abuse and addiction. If the Phase 1 trial is successful, Abbott anticipates evaluating PG110 in a number of other pain states including, chronic lower back pain, cancer pain and diabetic neuropathic pain.

This transaction is subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory approvals and is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2009.

Source: PanGenetics B.V., November 12, 2009

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