Neurogen and Aventis Pharma announce worldwide collaboration


Neurogen Corp and Aventis Pharma have jointly announced an exclusive worldwide collaboration to develop new drugs for treatment of depression, anxiety, and other stress-related disorders based on Neurogen's innovative portfolio of pre-clinical corticotrophin releasing factor (CRF1) antagonist compounds.

Aventis Pharma has licensed this entirely new class of compounds, including Neurogen's lead candidate NGD 98-2. Neurogen and Aventis have also entered into a three-year research collaboration designed to bring forward additional CRF1 candidates for a wider spectrum of disorders.

Under the terms of the agreement, Neurogen will receive an initial payment of $10 million from Aventis and will also receive cash payments based upon the achievement of certain milestones in the drug research and development process. Also under the agreement, Aventis receives exclusive worldwide development, manufacturing, marketing and sales rights to collaborative compounds which come to market, and agrees to pay Neurogen royalties on these sales. Aventis will also assume the full responsibility for the development and commercialization of compounds emerging from this program. Although complete financial terms have not been disclosed, the total collaborative value makes it the largest collaboration in Neurogen's history.

William H. Koster, Ph.D., President and CEO of Neurogen, said, "The combination of Neurogen's novel CRF1 chemotype, the substantial quantity of promising chemical leads from our Accelerated Intelligent Drug Discovery (AIDD) system, and Aventis' impressive development and commercial expertise comprise all the right elements for a successful effort. We will have one of the largest research and development teams in the industry focused in this area, and certainly one of the most talented. We're very excited about the potential of this collaboration, both from business and scientific perspectives."

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