Celgene Corporation (NASDAQ:CELG) Exercises Ex-US Rights To Abide Therapeutics, Inc. ABX-1431

Celgene Corporation (NASDAQ:CELG) has decided to exercise its options for the rights outside the US to ABX-1431— the only drug candidate of Abide Therapeutics, Inc., paying $20 million as per the agreement sealed in 2014. As a result, Celgene will be in charge of Phase 2 clinical trials and beyond for neurological indications, with multiple sclerosis (MS) being the top priority today. Meanwhile, Abide Therapeutics will retain its US rights to ABX-1431.

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The funding will be used primarily to commence Phase 1b clinical trials trying to establish the drug candidate’s proof-of-biology in different neurological conditions.

Alan Ezekowitz, Abide Therapeutics CEO and President, has lauded Celgene for playing an important role in advancing the company’s portfolio.

ABX-1431

ABX-1431, a first-in-class endocannabinoid system modulator, is being developed to normalize neurotransmitter balance and inflammation. It is intended to relieve symptoms such as lack of appetite, lack of sleep, nausea, pain, among others. Early clinical data have demonstrated that ABX-1431 is not associated with any cognitive abnormalities.

“Pain, sleep deficit— there are no real treatments for those MS symptoms. Treatments that modify MS still leave those symptoms and deficits. Given Celgene’s interest now in neurology, and particularly in MS, this is a very good fit for both of us,” saidEzekowitz.

Early Apremilast Clinical Trial Results

In other news, Celgene International Sàrl has recently presented the latest clinical data establishing the safety of oral selective inhibitor of phosphodiesterase 4 (PDE4), apremilast, at the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology (EADV) 2016 Congress.

The company has presented 156-week data from the ESTEEM 1 and 2 clinical trials, which involves moderate-to-severe plaque psoriasis subjects; and PALACE 1, 2, and 3 clinical trials, which involves active psoriatic arthritis patients.

Volker Koscielny, M.D., Celgene Europe Head of Medical Affairs, has emphasized the complex nature of psoriasis that challenges drug development. Because the symptoms associated with the condition are extensive, Koscielny has explained that numerous factors— even the smallest cases— need to be considered when evaluating therapeutic potentials.

Celgene has closed at $102.77 on Thursday, down by 2.89% from the previous close.

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