Alkermes to Acquire Rodin Therapeutics
— Acquisition to Expand Alkermes' Presence in CNS to a Wide Range of Neurodegenerative Diseases Through Epigenetic Control of Synaptogenesis —
DUBLIN and BOSTON, Nov. 18, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Alkermes plc (Nasdaq: ALKS) and Rodin Therapeutics, Inc. (Rodin) today announced that they have entered into a definitive agreement under which Alkermes will acquire Rodin, a privately held biopharmaceutical company focused on developing novel, small molecule therapeutics for synaptopathies. This transaction builds on Alkermes' experience in central nervous system (CNS) diseases and expands Alkermes' CNS development efforts into a wide range of neurodegenerative disorders.
Rodin has been working to develop first-in-class, orally-available, brain-permeable therapeutics for synaptopathies by designing molecules that target specific histone deacetylase (HDAC) complexes. Selective inhibition of the HDAC−co-repressor of repressor element-1 silencing transcription factor (CoREST) complex is believed to reactivate neuronal gene expression, strengthen existing synapses and promote the creation of new synapses, while minimizing known class-based hematologic safety concerns.
"Synaptic loss and dysfunction are associated with certain clinical symptoms regardless of the underlying pathology. The platform that Rodin has developed may offer potential utility across a broad spectrum of neuropsychiatric, neurodegenerative and neurodevelopment disorders, such as Alzheimer's disease, Huntington's disease, frontotemporal dementia and depression. In addition, this novel science could have potential applicability in oncology and hematological disorders," stated Craig Hopkinson, M.D., Chief Medical Officer and Senior Vice President of Medicines Development and Medical Affairs at Alkermes. "Based on the compelling research and the significant progress that Rodin has made to advance its chemistry and understanding of selective HDAC inhibition over the last several years, we are excited to enter this interesting area of research and development at this time."
Synaptic dysfunction is a pathological feature in many neurodegenerative and neuropsychiatric diseases, and synaptic loss correlates closely with cognitive decline. HDACs are a class of proteins involved in chromatin remodeling and gene expression and have been shown to regulate synaptogenesis and synaptic plasticity. Currently available HDAC inhibitors with known prosynaptic effects are associated with dose-limiting hematological toxicities, precluding their use in the treatment of chronic neurologic conditions.