Ipsen (France) and Canbex Therapeutics Ltd (UK) today announced that Canbex has granted Ipsen an option giving Ipsen the exclusive right to purchase 100% of Canbex shares upon completion of the Phase IIa study of Canbex’s lead candidate for the treatment of spasticity in people with multiple sclerosis (MS), known as VSN16R.
Canbex is a spin-out of University College London (UCL) that raised a Series A financing of GBP 2.3 million in 2013 from MS Ventures (the corporate venture arm of Merck Serono, Merck KGaA), the Wellcome Trust and UCL Business Plc.
VSN16R is a novel, orally active small molecule compound intended for the treatment of spasticity in MS and other disorders. Preclinical and Phase I clinical studies have demonstrated that VSN16R has the potential to provide substantially better patient care than existing systemic anti-spastic treatments. Spasticity is a debilitating and painful symptom of MS that consists of involuntary spasms of limbs and torso musculature. With VSN16R, Canbex aims to set a new standard in the treatment of spasticity, and to improve the lives of people worldwide with this serious and incurable disorder.
VSN16R was shown to be safe and well tolerated in its Phase I clinical safety trial. In the Phase I study, 72 healthy volunteers were enrolled in a placebo-controlled, single ascending- and multiple-ascending dose design.