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Proteostasis, Elan in neurodegenerative disease deal
July 2011
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CAMBRIDGE, Mass.Proteostasis Therapeutics and Elan Corp. recently announced a strategic business relationship to advance Proteostasis' platform for the discovery and development of disease-modifying, small-molecule drugs and diagnostics for the treatment of neurodegenerative disorders such as Parkinson's, Huntington's, multiple sclerosis and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), and a broad array of dementia-related diseases including Alzheimer's.
 
The partnership combines Proteostasis' unique discovery technology, novel targets and compounds that modulate key Proteostasis Network pathways with Elan's expertise in proprietary animal models, biology, medicinal chemistry and clinical development.
 
"Proteostasis' drug discovery platform is based on an emerging concept in biology, namely that perturbations in the Proteostasis Network pathways fundamentally underlie a wide variety of diseases, including neurodegenerative diseases as well as orphan conditions such as cystic fibrosis and lysosomal storage disorders," said Dr. Christopher K. Mirabelli, chairman of the board of Proteostasis, in a statement. "This alliance provides a creative approach to financing our discovery platform and supporting the development of multiple discovery and development programs in parallel."
 
Under the terms of the agreement, Elan invested $20 million into equity capital of Proteostasis and will have an opportunity to provide an additional $30 million in collaboration funding over five years. As part of the agreement, Elan will become an approximate 24 percent shareholder in Proteostasis, obtains a right of first negotiation to exclusively license compounds emerging from the combined initiative and will have the right to a seat on the Proteostasis board of directors as well as its scientific advisory board. By mutual agreement, the relationship can be extended for a further five years.
 
Kelly Martin, CEO of Elan, said the partnership reinforces Elan's "commitment and strategic business objective of being an exceptionally high-caliber, science-driven company, and provides a multitude of opportunities for Elan to advance its position as a world leader in the broad field of neuroscience."
 
"Importantly, and given the construct of the deal as a capital investment, this transaction is being consummated in a manner that will have a minimal near-term financial impact on our income statement and enable shareholders to realize the benefits of the operating leverage, embedded into our business, that combines expected double-digit revenue growth with a stable and well-defined overall cost structure," Martin added.

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