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Boehringer Hooks Up With Arena In CNS

This article was originally published in Scrip

Executive Summary

Boehringer Ingelheim GmbH has agreed to pay up to $262m in milestones to Arena Pharmaceuticals, Inc. under a new R&D agreement. The two will jointly research and develop CNS drugs against an undisclosed G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) whose ligand has not been identified. Arena will share internally discovered compounds and IP for the CNS receptor, and use technology it has developed to discover drugs targeting GPCRs even when their natural ligand is not known. Such receptors are known as "orphan GPCRs", and being able to analyze these as well as GPCRs with known ligands increases the chances of finding new therapies. BI hopes the alliance with Arena will lead to new treatments for psychiatric diseases such as schizophrenia. The German firm's only marketed CNS drug is Mirapex (pramipexole) for Parkinson's Disease, but it recently extended its R&D efforts in CNS beyond degenerative nerve diseases into psychiatric diseases.

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