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Senicapoc

Pfizer Inc.

Drug Names(s): ICA-17043

Description: A prominent feature of sickle cell anemia is the presence of dehydrated red blood cells (RBCs) in circulation. Loss of potassium, chloride and water from RBCs is thought to contribute to the production of these dehydrated cells. One main route of potassium loss in the RBC is the Gardos channel, also known as IK1 (intermediate conductance calcium-activated potassium channel). ICA-17043 selectively inhibits the Gardos channel.

The Gardos channel is an ion channel, or a protein structure that, when open, allows the passage of potassium ions across the membrane of red blood cells. Under most circumstances, the Gardos channel is closed, and therefore does not permit the flow of potassium ions across the cell membrane. However, for reasons which are not completely understood, in patients with sickle cell disease, the Gardos channel is sometimes inappropriately opened. When this occurs, potassium ions are able to flow out of red blood cells. This outward flow of potassium ions from the affected red blood cells is accompanied by an outward flow of chloride ions and water, leading to dehydration of the red blood cells. Dehydration of the red blood cells results in further polymerization of the abnormal hemoglobin and in the formation of dense and sickled red blood cells.

Regarding asthma, the IK1 channel is expressed in mast cells, lymphocytes, eosinophils, airway epithelial cells and other cell types. This potassium channel facilitates the influx of calcium into certain cells in the immune and inflammatory systems, thus contributing to the activation of these cells during immune and inflammatory responses to certain stimuli. Blocking this channel in these cells decreases the calcium-dependent activation. Moreover, this potassium channel has also been shown to be expressed at increased levels in activated T-lymphocytes and, when inhibited by selective blockers, to decrease T-cell proliferation in a dose-dependent manner.

Deal Structure: In June 2004, Icagen announced that it entered into an agreement with McNeil Consumer & Specialty Pharmaceuticals, a Johnson & Johnson company to collaborate on the clinical development and commercialization of ICA-17043 for the treatment of sickle cell disease.

Under the terms of the agreement, the companies will jointly develop and commercialize ICA-17043 in the United States and equally share development expenses and commercial returns. Icagen will receive an upfront payment and may be eligible to receive payments upon the achievement of specified clinical and regulatory milestones. In markets outside the United States, other than Canada, where the two companies may also collaborate on development and commercialization at Icagens option, McNeil will have rights to develop and commercialize the product, with Icagen receiving a royalty based upon any net product sales in those countries.

Following a suspension of development of the drug in April 2007, McNeil terminated the...See full deal structure in Biomedtracker


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