Oct 13, 2020

Secarna Pharmaceuticals and Denali Therapeutics enter into research and option agreement to develop novel antisense therapies in the field of neurodegenerative diseases

  • Companies will leverage Secarna’s industry-leading antisense oligonucleotide (ASO) discovery and development platform LNAplusTM and Denali’s blood-brain barrier technology to discover and develop novel therapeutics for neurodegenerative diseases with high unmet medical need 

  • Financial terms were not disclosed 


Munich/Martinsried, Germany, October 13, 2020 – Secarna Pharmaceuticals GmbH & Co. KG (“Secarna”), a biopharmaceutical company focusing on the discovery and development of next generation antisense oligonucleotide (ASO) therapies to address challenging or pre- viously undruggable targets, today announced that the Company has signed a Research and Option Agreement with Denali Therapeutics Inc. (“Denali”). Under this agreement, the companies will leverage Secarna’s LNAplusTM ASO discovery platform – the only independ- ent next generation ASO platform – and Denali’s blood-brain barrier (BBB) technology to develop novel therapies directed against targets that play a central role in major neurode- generative diseases. 


Under the terms of the agreement, Secarna will receive an undisclosed target-based technology access fee. Following the discovery and lead selection phase, Denali has a tar- get-based option to in-license the respective development programs. If Denali exercises an option, Secarna will receive an option exercise fee, as well as development and commercial milestone payments and tiered royalties. 


“We are excited to collaborate with Denali to develop truly novel therapies for patients suffering from incurable neurodegenerative diseases. By combining our industry-leading antisense oligonucleotide platform LNAplusTM with Denali’s strong expertise in the field of CNS, we see the potential to break new ground and develop targeted therapeutics for these debilitating diseases,” said Jonas Renz, Managing Director and Co-founder of Secarna Pharmaceuticals. 


“We are looking forward to working with Secarna, a leader in ASO technology, to develop novel antisense molecules that can be delivered to the CNS using our blood-brain barrier technology for the treatment of chronic neurodegenerative disease,” said Joe Lewcock, Ph.D., CSO of Denali. 


Secarna’s proprietary drug discovery platform, LNAplusTM 


Secarna’s proprietary, customized, in-house antisense oligonucleotide (ASO) platform, LNAplusTM, is the only independent next generation ASO platform. It encompasses all aspects of drug discovery and pre-clinical development and has proven to be fast, reliable, scalable, efficient and to provide for a uniquely integrated workflow, enabling the discovery of novel antisense-based therapies for challenging or currently undruggable targets. The platform includes the powerful proprietary OligofyerTM bioinformatics and LNA Vit(r)oxTM screening system for best-in-class high volume screening, and bespoke target-specific func- tional assays. Secarna’s platform and ASOs have previously been validated by numerous in-house projects as well as in several academic and industry collaborations. With over 
15 development programs focusing on targets in indications such as oncology/immuno- oncology, immunology, inflammation, fibrosis as well as ophthalmology, viral, neurode- generative and cardiometabolic diseases, where antisense-based approaches have clear benefits over other therapeutic modalities, Secarna is the leading independent European antisense drug discovery and development company. 


About Secarna Pharmaceuticals GmbH & Co. KG


Secarna Pharmaceuticals is the next generation antisense oligonucleotide (ASO) company with multiple innovative antisense therapies addressing high unmet medical needs in the areas of oncology/immuno-oncology, immunology, inflammation, fibrosis as well as ophthalmology, viral, neurodegenerative and cardiometabolic diseases. Secarna’s mission is to maximize the performance and output of its proprietary LNAplusTM antisense oligonucleotide discovery platform, as well as to develop highly specific, safe, and effica- cious best-in-class antisense therapies for challenging or currently undruggable targets. www.secarna.com 


About Denali Therapeutics 


Denali Therapeutics is a biopharmaceutical company developing a broad portfolio of prod- uct candidates engineered to cross the BBB for neurodegenerative diseases. Denali pursues new treatments by rigorously assessing genetically validated targets, engineering delivery across the BBB and guiding development through biomarkers that demonstrate target and pathway engagement. Denali is based in South San Francisco. For additional information, please visit www.denalitherapeutics.com. 

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