Therapies for Central Nervous System Diseases Merck Serono and Newron to Broaden Collaboration

Editor: Marion Henig

Merck Serono, a division of Merck, Germany, announced that Merck KGaA has entered into an agreement that broadens the scope of the collaboration with Newron Pharmaceuticals, Italy.

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Geneva, Switzerland / Milan, Italy - he two companies are already collaborating on the development of safinamide in Parkinson's disease. Under the terms of the agreement, Newron will receive a development license for two Merck clinical-stage compounds, pruvanserin and sarizotan. Merck will retain buy-back options for each compound upon completion of proof of concept trials. Should these options be exercised by Merck, Newron will have a co-development option. No further financial terms are disclosed.

Pruvanserin and sarizotan are highly selective compounds for specific serotonin or dopamine receptors and modulate the activity of these neurotransmitters in the brain. Both compounds exhibit pharmacological properties and have clinical data that support further evaluation and development. Newron will assess the potential of these compounds in additional preclinical experiments prior to initiating proof of concept studies in central nervous system (CNS) diseases.