Smartox Biotechnology announces research collaboration with Xenon Pharmaceuticals Inc. to identify animal venom molecules that selectively modulate ion channels

PDF: Press release Smartox Xenon EN

Saint Martin d’Hères, France – September 25, 2015

Smartox Biotechnology, a company based in France specialized in animal venom research, is pleased to announce a research collaboration with Xenon Pharmaceuticals Inc., a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company based in Canada, with the goal to identify venom toxins that selectively modulate specific ion channels.

The Collaboration 

The collaboration combines the expertises of Smartox Biotechnology in the study of animal venoms with Xenon Pharmaceuticals Inc.’s ion channel discovery platform. The VenomScreen® division of Smartox Biotechnology will supply venoms for in vitro screening by Xenon with the aim to identify natural toxins presenting a high selectivity for ion channels of interest.

Pursuant to the terms of the agreement, both Smartox and Xenon are free to use all intellectual properties arising out of the collaboration for internal discovery and research purposes. Smartox has an exclusive right to develop and sell venom toxins identified through the collaboration as research tools, therapeutics and diagnostics. Xenon will receive royalties on net sales for diagnostic or therapeutic products resulting from the collaboration. In addition, Smartox has granted Xenon a right as a privileged collaborator in the first negotiation concerning license or purchase agreements for the development and commercialization of any human therapeutic products.

About Smartox Biotechnology

Smartox Biotechnology is a French company specialized in animal venom based drug discovery research. Venoms are composed of hundreds of different molecules, which include peptides that are small molecules with exceptional structural and functional properties. Venom peptides are efficient modulators of the activity of numerous membrane receptors on the cell surface such as ion channels and GPCRs which are major class therapeutic targets (40% of approved drugs target these receptors). Therefore, venom peptides are particularly interesting for use as drugs for a wide variety of indications such as pain, cancer, autoimmune disorders and much more. Several drugs issued from venoms have already been approved to treat pain, cardiovascular disorders or diabetes.  Smartox Biotechnology objective is to explore the therapeutic potential of this natural multi-million molecule reservoir at the industrial scale by combining cutting-edge bioanalytical technologies and chemical engineering proprietary processes.

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