Munich/Martinsried, Germany, October 26, 2021 – 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 previously undruggable targets, today announced that the Company expanded its existing Research Collaboration and Option Agreement with Denali Therapeutics Inc. (“Denali”) in the field of neurodegenerative diseases. The parties agreed to add to the partnership multiple additional discovery and research programs across a range of indications.
As part of the collaboration, Secarna will employ its commercially validated discovery and development platform, LNAplus™ to generate antisense oligonucleotide candidates against targets relevant for the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases. Denali will apply its blood-brain barrier (BBB) Transport Vehicle (TV) technology to enable delivery of these LNAplus™ -based ASOs to the central nervous system.
Under the terms of the agreement, Secarna will receive an undisclosed target-based technology access fee and prepaid R&D fee. Secarna is also eligible to receive development milestone payments, commercial milestone payments, and tiered royalties for each program that Denali progresses through development and commercialization.
“Since the beginning of our collaboration in fall 2020, Denali has been an excellent partner, and we are proud of the remarkable progress our programs have made,” said Alexander Gebauer, M.D., Ph.D., CEO of Secarna Pharmaceuticals. “This expansion of our partnership further validates Secarna’s proprietary ASO discovery and development technology and demonstrates its potential to generate highly specific, safe and effective ASOs, even for very challenging targets. “
Alexander Schuth, MD, Co-Founder and COO of Denali Therapeutics, added: “We are excited to expand our partnership with Secarna. Together, we aim to develop novel ASOs that can address targets in the central nervous system using our Oligonucleotide Transport Vehicle (OTV) technology to enable delivery through the blood-brain barrier after intravenous administration. Patients with neurodegenerative diseases currently have limited treatment options, and we are optimistic about the potential that our collaboration with Secarna can lead to more effective therapies.”
About Secarna’s proprietary drug discovery platform, LNAplus™
Secarna’s proprietary, customized LNAplus™ drug discovery platform is being applied to the discovery, testing and selection of antisense oligonucleotides (ASOs) for pre-clinical and clinical development. LNAplus™ encompasses all aspects of drug discovery and pre-clinical development and has proven to be fast, reliable, scalable and efficient, enabling the discovery of novel antisense-based therapies for challenging or currently undruggable targets. The platform includes the powerful proprietary Oligofyer™ bioinformatics pipeline, a streamlined, high efficiency screening process, including Secarna’s proprietary LNA-Vit(r)ox™ safety test system as well as target-specific functional assays. Secarna’s platform and ASOs have been validated by numerous in-house projects as well as in several academic and industry collaborations.
About Secarna Pharmaceuticals GmbH & Co. KG
Secarna Pharmaceuticals is the leading independent European next-generation antisense drug discovery and development company addressing high unmet medical needs in immuno-oncology, immunology, as well as viral, neurodegenerative and cardiometabolic diseases. Secarna’s mission is to maximize the performance and output of its proprietary LNAplus™ antisense oligonucleotide discovery platform, as well as to develop highly specific, safe, and efficacious best-in-class antisense therapies. With over 15 development programs, including both proprietary pipeline projects and partnered programs, Secarna focuses on targets in indications where antisense-based approaches have clear potential benefits over other therapeutic modalities. www.secarna.com
About Denali Therapeutics Inc.
Denali Therapeutics is a biopharmaceutical company developing a broad portfolio of product 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.
Secarna Pharmaceuticals GmbH & Co. KG
Alexander Gebauer, MD, PhD
Secarna Pharmaceuticals GmbH & Co. KG
Am Klopferspitz 19
Tel.: +49 (0)89 215 46 375
Anne Hennecke/Vera Lang
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Tel.: +49 (0)211.52 92 52 22