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Selvita And Orion Pharma Will Collaborate on SEL103 - Alzheimer’s Disease Program

publication date: Jul 8, 2010
author/source: b3c newswire

Selvita sp. z o.o., from Krakow, Poland and Orion Corporation from Espoo, Finland (ORNBV) today announced that they have entered into a global collaboration to jointly develop and commercialize SEL103, Selvita's proprietary program for the treatment of Alzheimer's disease and other cognitive disorders. Selvita will be responsible for early research on the program and Orion will take over the pre-clinical and clinical development as well as further commercialization.

Under the terms of the agreement, Selvita will be responsible for the discovery and early preclinical development of small molecules and will receive upfront and research funding as well as milestone payments from Orion subject to the progress of the development program. After the selection of a lead compound, Orion will be responsible for the further steps of the program with global commercialization rights. The financial and other details of the collaboration agreement remain between the parties.

"Neurodegenerative diseases with cognitive dysfunctions are a major global disease burden. The joint program combines synergistically the capabilities of both companies providing new opportunities with a clear aim to develop improved medicines for patients with Alzheimer's disease and related disorders". said Dr. Jukka Sallinen, Head of CNS Research of Orion. 

„The joint program with Selvita is highly in line with our strategy of entering into early stage collaboration with partners having complementary skills to our own activities. In addition to competence, we have seen high enthusiasm and commitment to the collaboration in Selvita.  With these assets, we can look forward to a good and fruitful relationship", said Dr. Antti Haapalinna, Vice President, Research, R&D of Orion.

The companies are planning to conduct a broad-based global research and development program which will combine the resources of Orion's experienced CNS research and development team with Selvita's competencies in discovery chemistry and biology assays. In collaboration, both parties can achieve joint goals faster and with better success than by doing the work alone.

"We are excited to have the opportunity to collaborate with Orion - one of the leading pharmaceutical companies dedicated to developing and commercializing central nervous system drugs, with significant experience in conducting clinical trials in neuropsychiatric disorders which will benefit the most from our program" said Pawel Przewiezlikowski, the Chief Executive Officer of Selvita. "From the start of Selvita in 2007, our top priority has been to establish partnerships that will help us translate the vision of our scientists and academic collaborators and allow us to realize our strategy of becoming an integrated drug discovery company.

"We are delighted to see that Orion entrusts our expertise to progress into full clinical development more quickly than current industry norms," added Dr. Nicolas Beuzen, the Chief Scientific Officer of Selvita.

Alzheimer's disease is the most common cause of dementia. Dementia is a collective name for progressive degenerative brain syndromes which affect memory, thinking, behaviour and emotion. Although there are no drugs that can cure Alzheimer's disease, there are some treatments that can help people with Alzheimer's disease. However, better drug treatments are needed, especially due to the aging of human population. Currently there are an estimated 30 million people worldwide with dementia. Two thirds of them live in developing countries. This figure is set to increase to more than 100 million people by 2050. Much of this increase will be in rapidly developing and heavily populated regions such as China, India and Latin America (according to Alzheimer's Disease International, ADI).

About SEL103
Selvita's SEL103 program is based on novel, orally bioavailable and highly selective small-molecules which have the potential to play role in the treatment of multiple cognitive disorders, including Alzheimer's disease, dementias, etc. SEL103 is expected to enter formal pre-clinical development shortly.

SELVITA is a Polish, privately-owned, biotechnology company engaged in the discovery and development of breakthrough medicines to treat CNS, oncology and autoimmune disorders as well as provision of non-clinical research services. It was established and 2007 and currently employs 96 scientists, including 33 PhDs. SELVITA has currently several projects at early or late discovery stage and is expected to move its first candidates to the clinic in 2012. The most advanced programs at Selvita are SEL103 for the symptomatic treatment of Alzheimer's disease and SEL24, a pre-clinical Pim kinase inhibitor, with multiple indications in solid and hematopoietic tumors. Additional information about SELVITA can be found on the Internet at

About ORION -
Orion is an innovative European R&D-based pharmaceutical and diagnostic company with a special emphasis on developing medicinal treatments and diagnostic tests for global markets. Orion develops, manufactures and markets human and veterinary pharmaceuticals, active pharmaceutical ingredients and diagnostic tests. Orion's pharmaceutical R&D focuses on the following core therapy areas: central nervous system drugs, cancer and critical care drugs, and Easyhaler® pulmonary drugs. The Group's net sales in 2009 amounted to EUR 772 million. The Company invested EUR 95 million in research and development. At the end of 2009, the Group had a total of 3,100 employees, of whom 2,500 worked in Finland and 600 in other European countries. Orion's A and B shares are listed on NASDAQ OMX Helsinki. Orion's corporate website is at



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