Addex wins EuropaBio’s European Biotech SME Award
Geneva/Brussels – Swiss biotech company Addex Pharmaceuticals S.A. is the first winner of EuropaBio’s new ”Most Innovative European Biotech SME Award”. On occasion of EuropaBio’s event on Innovation in Biotechnology in Brussels, the developer of small molecule allosteric modulators , which out-competed 31 other biotech companies including AMSilk, KeyGene, Prosensa, and TiGenix, received a EUR10,000 cheque and two years free membership of EuropaBio. “Addex has pioneered an extremely innovative solution to address important therapeutic areas such as Parkinson’s disease, schizophrenia, Alzheimer’s disease, endometriosis and benign prostatic hyperplasia,” said EuropaBio Chairman, Andrea Rappagliosi. “We look forward to bringing allosteric modulators to patients as medical therapies, starting with our lead products for Parkinson’s disease and schizophrenia which will enter phase II clinical trial testing in the next few weeks,” added Addex’s CEO Vincent Mutel. The Geneva-based company, which went public in 2007 and raised a total amount of CHF263m since it was founded in 2002, currently has two candidates entering clinical phase II next year that open up allosteric modulation of metabotrophic glutamate receptors (mGluR). Addex’s schizophrenia programme ADX71149, which is partnered with Ortho-McNeil-Janssen, a Johnson & Johnson subsidiary, upregulates expression of mGluR2. ADX48621, a structurally new negative mGluR5 modulator that was developed after termination of Addex’ ADX100059 programme, is being developed in Levodopa-induced dyskenesia, a severe adverse effect in patients with Parkinson’s disease. The Phase II trial is currently unpartnered but partially funded (US$900,000 a quarter of the trial’s cost) by the Michael J. Fox foundation. Addex is financed until early 2013 at a burn rate of CHF30m annually. Additionally, Merck & Co. is developing preclinical positive mGluR5 modulator ADX633365 (schizophrenia) and a mGluR4 booster for Parkinson’s disease discovered by Addex. “Our allosteric modulators deliver all advantages of small drugs while offering high target specificity and a new mode of action. In contrast to small drugs or biologicals they do not act as on/off-switches at their targets but more like a dimmer switch, which offers greater physiological modulation” Mutel explained to EuroBiotechNews. According to Addex’s CEO, the development of a novel discovery and bio-assay platform for allosteric modulators together with an allostery-biased chemical library of 70,000 compounds makes Addex a biopharmaceutical firm.