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Biohaven signs license & research pact with CD3 and KU Leuven to advance first-in-class TRPM3 antagonists to treat pain

New Haven, Connecticut
Tuesday, January 11, 2022, 15:00 Hrs  [IST]

Biohaven Therapeutics Ltd., a subsidiary of Biohaven Pharmaceutical Holding Company Ltd., along with CD3 and LICR at KU Leuven, announced that they have entered into an exclusive global license and research agreement to develop and commercialize first-in-class TRPM3 antagonists to address the growing proportion of people worldwide living with chronic pain disorders.

The TRPM3 antagonist platform was discovered at the Centre for Drug Design and Discovery (CD3) and the Laboratory of Ion Channel Research (LICR) at KU Leuven.

BHV-2100 is the lead TRPM3 antagonist from the platform and an orally-bioavailable small molecule TRPM3 antagonist. TRPM3 is a cation channel involved in pain signalling and a novel target for the treatment of pain discovered at KU Leuven's LICR. Consistent with the role of TRPM3 in pain, data generated at KU Leuven demonstrated that BHV-2100 may reduce pain behaviours in animal models without the detrimental side-effects seen with other pain management approaches and mechanisms.

Vlad Coric, M.D., chief executive officer and chairman of the board of Biohaven Pharmaceutical Holding Company Ltd., said, "We are pleased to expand our pipeline of novel compounds targeting pain disorders, which already includes our migraine focused CGRP franchise, through this collaboration with CD3 and KU Leuven. There is an urgent unmet need for safe, effective treatments for pain, and TRPM3 antagonism is a promising approach to advance new pain therapies. Based on the extensive characterization of the mechanism and encouraging preclinical data generated to date by KU Leuven, we are excited to collaborate with these academic leaders to bring BHV-2100 into clinical development."

Thomas Voets, professor at KU Leuven and group leader at the VIB-KU Leuven Center for Brain & Disease Research, said "We are excited to collaborate with Biohaven and look forward to advancing our TRPM3 program towards clinical applications for the benefit of chronic pain sufferers." Joris Vriens, professor at KU Leuven added: "Our fundamental research has shown that TRPM3 is a promising target for a novel type of analgesics, and this partnership will give us the necessary resources to advance our TRPM3-targeting compounds to the clinical stage."

Charlie Conway, PhD, chief scientific officer of Biohaven Pharmaceuticals, Inc. remarked, "Professors Voets and Vriens at KU Leuven have been pioneers in elucidating and validating the pivotal role of TRPM3 in pain signalling. Their research provides a strong rationale for advancing TRPM3 modulators to treat pathological pain. I'm excited to carry BHV-2100 forward as the first candidate in a potentially transformative class of pain therapies."

Under the agreement, Biohaven Therapeutics receives exclusive global rights to develop, manufacture and commercialize KU Leuven's small-molecule TRPM3 antagonists. The portfolio includes the lead candidate, henceforth known as BHV-2100, which has demonstrated promising efficacy in preclinical pain models and will be the first to advance towards Phase 1 studies. Biohaven Therapeutics will support further basic and translational research at KU Leuven on the role of TRPM3 in pain and other disorders. KU Leuven will receive an upfront payment and is eligible to receive additional development, regulatory, and commercialization milestones. In addition, KU Leuven will be eligible to receive mid-single digit royalties on net sales of products resulting from the collaboration.

Patrick Chaltin, managing director CD3 added: "We are extremely pleased that our long lasting and successful partnership with LICR has enabled the TRPM3 antagonist programme to achieve this important milestone. Biohaven has a proven track record of successfully developing and launching novel therapies, and we're excited to work with Biohaven through this global license and research collaboration agreement."

Biohaven Pharmaceutical Holding Company Ltd., parent company of Biohaven Therapeutics, is a commercial-stage biopharmaceutical company with a portfolio of innovative, best-in-class therapies to improve the lives of patients with debilitating neurological and neuropsychiatric diseases, including rare disorders.

As the number one European university for innovation, KU Leuven actively invests in launching innovative technologies in the commercial market by creating spin-off companies, securing and licensing intellectual property, and collaborating with industry.

The Centre for Drug Design and Discovery (CD3) translates innovative science into promising drug discovery programs that are well qualified for further development by pharmaceutical or biotech companies.

The Laboratory of Ion Channel Research (LICR) studies ion channels in all their facets, from their molecular and cellular mode of action to their role in health and disease.


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