Pharmos drug launches new Israeli company

Reperio Pharmaceuticals will be headed by Dr. Silvia Noiman.

Pharmos Corp. (Nasdaq: PARSD) announced today that it will sell to a new Israeli company its last product to have been developed in Israel, a drug for treating pain in the final stages of pre-clinical trials The company, Reperio Pharmaceuticals Ltd., was set up by two former Pharmos scientists, Dr. Iris Alroy and Dr. Arnon Aharon, together with Dr. Silvia Noiman, a founder of Predix Pharmaceuticals, which merged with Epix Pharmaceuticals.

Reperio was founded in order to exploit the opportunity that Pharmos abandoned. It intends to buy another 2-3 products at similar stages and become a drug company with a substantial pipeline.

Financial details of the deal were not disclosed, but sources inform "Globes" that Reperio will pay Pharmos a small initial sum, with royalties on sales to follow, and a slice of any exit from the product, if there is one. Pharmos will be a shareholder in Reperio. Reperio's founders have the funds to pay the initial sum to Pharmos, but it is not clear how its operations will be financed. "We are talking with angels, funds, and drug companies," says Noiman, who will be CEO of the company.

"Globes" has learned that the company is already in negotiations with several leading drug companies that are familiar with the product from its Pharmos days, and that at least one of them has expressed preliminary interest in developing it jointly with Reperio.

Pharmos, which ceased operations in Israel in October 2008, said in its announcement that it had agreed to sell Reperio "the patent rights and technical know how related to the compound known as PRS-639,058 and some follow on molecules. These CB2-selective cannabinoids are synthetic compounds which belong to the class of nonclassical cannabinoids and thus display fewer of the undesired psychotropic and cardiovascular side-effects seen with some natural cannabinoids."

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes.co.il - on February 19, 2009

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2009

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