Sunovion Pharma and Afraxis establish novel drug discovery alliance

Sunovion Pharma and San Diego-based drug discovery platform company Afraxis have entered into a partnership agreement to use the unique enhanced spine platform (ESP), to boost Sunovion’s preclinical central nervous system (CNS) drug discovery process.

Based on the agreement, the use of ESP platform which has been developed by Afraxis will enable Sunovion to identify novel CNS compounds that are potentially superior to existing treatments.

Detailed terms of the transaction remained undisclosed, however Afraxis will receive certain milestone payments for each compound through phase 2 clinical trial initiation.

Sunovion discovery research senior vice president Tom Large said, "A key goal of the partnership is to use ESP to guide the optimization of clinical drugs for a range of complex and often devastating psychiatric and neurological disorders."

Dendritic spines, which receive, store and transmit information from synapses to the neuronal cell body, are small protrusions on neuronal dendrites.

Leveraging dendritic spine measurement methods, the Afraxis ESP platform can assess spine morphology faster than a half million spines per month, which in turn helps in making assessments of a molecule's novel pharmacology and efficacy during preclinical testing.


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