NeuroSearch announces the advance of NsGene’s Neublastin into Phase I clinical development as a novel treatment for neuropathic pain

Copenhagen -- NeuroSearch A/S (NEUR) today announced that the associated company, NsGene A/S (25% owned), has advanced Neublastin into Phase I clinical development for the treatment of neuropathic pain. Neublastin is a novel, proprietary and potentially disease-modifying therapeutic protein, which NsGene has out-licensed to Biogen Idec (NASDAQ; BIIB) in the field of peripheral nervous system disorders. NsGene has retained all global rights to central nervous system indications.

The first patient has been dosed in the Phase I study at the University of Adelaide in Australia with a total of 28 patients with neuropathic pain expected to be enrolled to evaluate the safety and tolerability of Neublastin. Biogen Idec will conduct and sponsor the Phase I study, the initiation of which also triggers a milestone payment to NsGene from Biogen Idec.

Flemming Pedersen, CEO of NeuroSearch, commented:
”Neublastin is a novel biological drug candidate, which has the potential to offer curative treatment of serious pain conditions as well as other diseases caused by nerve damage, including spinal cord injuries. Such conditions are only very poorly treated today, and we believe Neublastin may represent a paradigm shift in the treatment of a number of diseases in the central and peripheral nervous system. NsGene has a very exciting portfolio of biological neurology products and we are very satisfied with the successful progress in NsGene and our share holding in the company which we see as a long-term strategic investment in biological drugs.”

In an announcement from NsGene today, Teit E. Johansen, CEO of NsGene, said:
“The initiation of this Phase I trial is a significant milestone for NsGene, since Neublastin is the first programme from our unique pipeline of proprietary neurotrophic factors to make the important transition into clinical development.”

Gilmore O’Neill, Senior Director, Experimental Neurology, Biogen Idec, said:
“Biogen Idec is dedicated to developing pioneering treatments for patients with neurological diseases and Neublastin represents a potentially first-in-class therapy for restoration of damaged nerves that cause pain. We are excited that the Phase I trial of neublastin has commenced.”

SOURCE: NeuroSearch A/S

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