Under the collaboration, the Vanderbilt Center for Neuroscience Drug Discovery (VCNDD) will identify drug candidates from its existing program, which obtained major support from The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research (MJFF). Bristol-Myers Squibb will have the right to develop and commercialize products resulting from the collaborative research program.
Under the terms of the agreement, Vanderbilt University will receive an upfront payment and multi-year research funding to continue to discover additional compounds. Vanderbilt is eligible to receive milestones and royalties based on developmental success and worldwide sales of the drugs emerging from the collaboration.
"The long-term commitment of and collaboration with the MJFF were critical to advancing this program to the stage where it is now perfectly positioned to work closely with Bristol-Myers Squibb for further development," said P. Jeffrey Conn, Ph.D., VCNDD director and Lee E. Limbird, Chair in Pharmacology. "Partnering with Bristol-Myers Squibb is a real win for Vanderbilt and for Parkinson's patients."
"We all look forward to a productive collaboration with Bristol-Myers Squibb, which brings tremendous expertise and a strong commitment to advancing the program," added Craig Lindsley, Ph.D., VCNDD director of medicinal chemistry.
"At Bristol-Myers Squibb we are dedicated to discovering and developing medicines that address serious unmet need," said Francis Cuss, MB BChir, FRCP, senior vice president for Research at Bristol-Myers Squibb. "As part of our strategy, we continually seek to build relationships with organizations that have innovative programs and capabilities that complement our own internal efforts. We are thrilled to have the opportunity to work with the Vanderbilt Center for Neuroscience Drug Discovery's highly regarded scientists and laboratories to potentially find a way to help patients with Parkinson's disease."
About Parkinson's disease
An estimated 1 million Americans have Parkinson's disease, a progressive brain disorder characterized by resting tremor, rigidity and slowness of movement. It is caused by the death of nerve cells in a specific brain region that produce the neurotransmitter dopamine.
About mGluR4 PAMs
mGluR4 receptors are highly expressed in areas of the brain directly relevant to Parkinson's disease. mGluR4 PAMs represent an approach to correct the dysregulated signaling observed in Parkinson’s disease and pharmacologically mimic a surgical procedure that has been successful in alleviating symptoms of Parkinson's disease.
Vanderbilt University Medical Center is a major referral center for the Southeast and nation. Its research enterprise, which includes the Vanderbilt Center for Neuroscience Drug Discovery, is nationally known for translating scientific discoveries into patient care advances.
About Bristol-Myers Squibb
Bristol-Myers Squibb is a global biopharmaceutical company whose mission is to discover, develop and deliver innovative medicines that help patients prevail over serious diseases.