NicOx sees progress in Merck drug trial

PARIS, Nov 13 (Reuters) - NicOx (NCOX.PA: Quote, Profile, Research) said on Monday it had made progress in its pre-clinical trial testing a blood pressure drug, NCX 899, which the French biotechnology company is jointly developing with drugmaker Merck & Co. (MRK.N: Quote, Profile, Research).

The results showed that NicOx' nitric oxide-donating technology could improve the blood pressure-lowering activity or efficacy of existing anti-hypertensive products, NicOx said.

"We are making good progress in our collaboration and both NicOx and Merck are working hard to advance a candidate into the clinic at the earliest possibility," Ennio Ongini, Vice President of Research at NicOx said in a statement.

Enalapril, a common anti-hypertensive drug and doses of NCX 899, a nitric oxide-donating derivative of enalapril, were tested in aged hypertensive rats.

NicOx said in March it could receive up to 288.2 million euros from its deal with Merck to develop new high blood pressure treatments using NicOx's nitric oxide-donating technology.

Under the agreement Merck has the exclusive right to develop and market the treatment and will pay NicOx industry standard royalties on the sales of all products resulting from their cooperation. NicOx will be involved in the new research programme, while Merck will pay for and manage all further pre-clinical and clinical trial activities.

Certain diseases are related to a lack of production of nitric oxide, NicOx said on its Web site. Nitric oxide acts as a messenger molecule, conveying biochemical signals in cardiovascular, central nervous and immune systems.

© Reuters 2006. All Rights Reserved.

Source : Reuters

Aucun commentaire: