Imperial spinout NeuroproteXeon signs licensing agreement worth up to $35 million

5 Oct 2017

Imperial Innovations, the technology commercialisation partner for Imperial College London, announces that its portfolio company NeuroproteXeon (the ‘Company’) has entered into a licensing agreement with Mallinckrodt plc (NYSE:MNK) for development and commercialisation of the Company’s investigational, pharmaceutical-grade xenon gas for inhalation therapy, which is being evaluated to improve survival and functional outcomes for patients resuscitated after a cardiac arrest. If approved, xenon gas for inhalation will expand Mallinckrodt’s portfolio of hospital drug device combination products providing therapies for critically ill patients.

Bill Burns, NeuroproteXeon Chief Executive Officer, said, “We are excited by the partnership with Mallinckrodt and we believe they are the ideal partner given their pharmaceutical gas and drug-device experience, as well as their broad service and technical support infrastructure. We look forward to working closely with Mallinckrodt in bringing this important therapy to the market so patients having a cardiac arrest may have better survival rates and neurological outcomes.”

Under the terms of the agreement, NeuroproteXeon will receive an upfront payment of $10 million in cash on hand from Mallinckrodt, with potential additional payments of up to $25 million dependent on developmental, regulatory and sales milestones. In addition, NeuroproteXeon will receive tiered royalties on applicable worldwide product sales and a transfer price for commercial product supply.

NeuroproteXeon was started at Imperial College London, based on the work of Professors Nick Franks of the Faculty of Natural Sciences, and Mervyn Maze, formerly of the Faculty of Medicine. Their work on the neuroprotective mechanisms of xenon gas led to the formation of the company, in which Imperial Innovations has an equity stake through intellectual property.

NeuroproteXeon has a long history at Imperial. In 2001, a company based on two Imperial patents, Protexeon, was formed to commercialise technologies related to xenon anaesthesia, with College Professors Nick Franks and Mervyn Maze the named inventors. This company was initially sold in 2005. Ultimately, the IP assets related to the original transaction were re-acquired by Imperial Innovations in 2013, and Neuroprotexeon was formed in its current incarnation in 2014.

Professor Nick Franks, FRS, of the Department of Life Sciences, Imperial College London, said:

“I’m particularly pleased that, after a long history and substantial hard work and perseverance, there is now every prospect that we will be able to develop this novel therapy for neuroprotection following cardiac arrest. Hopefully this will provide a springboard for the use of xenon as a neuroprotectant in other conditions.”

Tony Hickson, Managing Director, Imperial Innovations, said:

“This licensing deal represents a significant step for NeuroproteXeon towards commercialisation. Technology transfer often takes time, and this deal is testament to the tenacity and belief of the founding inventors in their product. We are delighted to note the ongoing success of the company.”