Ironwood Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: IRWD) and Bionomics Limited (ASX: BNO) today announced that they entered into a collaboration, research, and licensing agreement that will enable Ironwood to develop and commercialize Bionomics' investigational anti-anxiety compound BNC210 and other related compounds. The goal of the collaboration is to evaluate the compound's potential as a novel anti-anxiety treatment. Data from several preclinical studies indicate that BNC210 has anti-anxiety activity without the sedative side effects that are typical of benzodiazepines, a class of drugs used to treat anxiety. These data are further strengthened by Phase 1 clinical studies, where pharmacodynamic markers of anti-anxiety activity without sedation were observed in healthy volunteers who took a single dose of BNC210. This collaboration furthers both companies' commitment to develop innovative treatments for patients with high unmet need.
Under the terms of the agreement, the companies will collaborate on initial research and Ironwood will be responsible for worldwide development and commercialization of all products incorporating BNC210 or other licensed compounds, including funding of clinical trials. Pending achievement of certain development and regulatory milestones, Bionomics could receive up to US$345 million in upfront and milestone payments and research funding, as well as royalties on sales of products incorporating BNC210 and other related compounds. Over the next 24 months, Bionomics may receive up to US$13 million in research funding and milestone payments, including an initial payment of US$3 million.
"Partnering BNC210 has been a major objective for Bionomics, and this collaboration with Ironwood continues Bionomics' strategy to form partnerships to develop and commercialize its proprietary drug candidates," said Deborah Rathjen, Bionomics CEO and managing director. "This partnership with Ironwood furthers Bionomics' position as an innovative biotech company, advancing pioneering drug discovery and leveraging Ironwood's significant clinical expertise and patient-centric approach to drug development to enable the further clinical development of BNC210 for the treatment of anxiety."
"We are happy to announce this collaboration with Bionomics, a company with scientific expertise in drug discovery in the central nervous system area, and a strong team of small molecule chemists," said Mark Currie, senior vice president, R&D and chief scientific officer of Ironwood. "We continue to add to our early development pipeline through internal efforts and external collaborations. This partnership reflects our commitment to developing and commercializing innovative treatments for patients suffering from highly symptomatic disorders."
Ironwood Pharmaceuticals, Inc.