Edison Pharma signs licensing agreement with Japanese pharma giant for alpha-tocotrienol quinone development

By Stephen Daniells

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Mitochondrion Pharmacology

Edison Pharma signs licensing agreement with Japanese pharma giant for alpha-tocotrienol quinone development
Mountain View, California based Edison Pharmaceuticals has announced a licensing agreement with Dainippon Sumitomo Pharma Co., Ltd to develop and commercialize EPI-743 for mitochondrial function and aging. EPI-743 is the quinone form of alpha tocotrienol.

The deal was described as “landmark”​ by Guy Miller, MD, PhD, President and CEO of Edison Pharmaceuticals, as allowing Edison to acquire the financial and strategic resources it requires to develop and commercialize EPI-743. Edison has recently reported on the biochemistry of EPI-743 (Bioorganic & Medicinal Chemistry Letters​, 2011, Vol. 21, pp. 3693–3698).

“Additionally, it will allow us to realize the first stage of our mission- the development of the first drug for children with mitochondrial disease,” ​he added. “DSP is highly committed to the development of EPI-743 in Japan for ‘our children’, and is a first-in-class partner for Edison.”

Although a pharmaceutical deal on the surface, Dr Miller told NutraIngredients-USA: “EPI-743 may ultimately be a cross over player such as DHA- playing on drug/medical and consumer sides of the equation.”

Redox chemistry

Dr Miller added that two other aspects of the agreement warranted comment: “Firstly, DSP realized what the Edison Team has strongly believed for some time - that the world of redox chemistry and the mitochondria likely extends past genetic diseases of the mitochondria.

“As part of the collaboration, DSP will fund Edison to develop a next generation EPI-743, named ‘EPI-589’.  

“We are especially excited about this component of the partnership as this will advance our technology platform, allow us to test the hypothesis of redox control and mitochondrial function and aging in general, bring much needed therapies to many in need, and grow significant value in the non-orphan space.”

“Secondly, we have engaged Dainippon Sumitomo Pharma as a collaborative partner and  not as an equity-based investor.”

Guy Miller cropped
Guy Miller, MD, PhD

“The Edison board and management feel that our destiny should be in the control of the company and that the structure we fashioned with DSP benefits both Edison and our partnership interests with Dainippon Sumitomo Pharma.”

For more information about the potential of this work, please read:
Nutrition 2.0: ‘Closer than you think’ and a ‘tremendous technical and business opportunity’
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