Icagen and Pfizer to Research Sodium Ion Channels

August 16, 2007
Pharmaceutical Technology Editors
ePT--the Electronic Newsletter of Pharmaceutical Technology

Icagen signed a worldwide collaboration and licensing agreement with Pfizer for the discovery, development, and commercialization of compounds that modulate three specific sodium ion channels and could provide treatments for pain and related disorders.

Research Triangle Park, NC (Aug. 14)-Icagen signed a worldwide collaboration and licensing agreement with Pfizer (New York) for the discovery, development, and commercialization of compounds that modulate three specific sodium ion channels and could provide treatments for pain and related disorders. Icagen and Pfizer will pool resources to identify compounds that target these three ion channels in a global research and development collaboration supervised by a joint research committee. Pfizer will fund all aspects of the project, including the research and preclinical development work at Icagen, and will gain exclusive worldwide rights to commercialize resulting products. Pfizer also will make an equity investment in Icagen.

The ion channel targets of the collaboration help generate electrical signals in nerve fibers that mediate the initiation, transmission, and sensation of pain. Icagen identified compounds that have demonstrated efficacy in pain models during preclinical studies. Icagen also accumulated intellectual property in this area that includes several promising compounds that target sodium channels.

P. Kay Wagoner, president and CEO of Icagen, said, “Given that there are three different ion channel targets in the collaboration, we believe that there is a possibility for at least three unique products to emerge from this joint effort.”

Pfizer will provide $38 million to Icagen during the first two years of the collaboration, including a license fee of $12 million, as much as $15 million through an equity commitment, and research and development funding. The equity commitment comprises a $5-million initial investment in Icagen common stock on the effective date of the agreement and an equity put option that woud permit Icagen to sell as much as $10 million of common stock to Pfizer at fair market value during the first eighteen months after the agreement is signed. In addition, Icagen is eligible to receive $359 million in research, development, regulatory, and commercialization milestones for each product.