Melbourne, Australia, 5 May 2023 – Uniseed investee Kinoxis Therapeutics today announced a strategic partnership and licensing agreement with Boehringer Ingelheim for the development of first-in-class oxytocin targeting precision psychiatry treatments to improve the quality of life of people living with neuropsychiatric disorders.
Mental health conditions are major global health burden, affecting 1 in every 8 people 1 with an economic impact larger than cancer and cardiovascular disease combined. Social dysfunction is a major symptom of many neuropsychiatric disorders, including schizophrenia, depression, and dementia. It can manifest in various ways, including social withdrawal, communication difficulties, inappropriate or abnormal behaviour during social interactions, difficulty forming or maintaining relationships, aggressive behaviour, and difficulty recognising, understanding, or responding appropriately to emotions in others. Social dysfunction may severely impact the lives of the affected people, their careers, and their families, while also placing a major burden on society. Despite the high prevalence of social dysfunction and the impact, there are currently no specific pharmacological treatments. Starting with Kinoxis’ proprietary oxytocin receptor targeting molecules, the partners will work on a small molecule precision psychiatry approach to address this challenge.
“We are extremely pleased to have entered into this collaborative agreement with Boehringer Ingelheim to accelerate the development of our unique oxytocin receptor targeting compounds,” said Dr Peter Devine, Uniseed CEO and Kinoxis Chairman. “This collaborative effort will enable development of these molecules to address the significant unmet needs of individuals living with mental health conditions.”
“Boehringer Ingelheim is committed to developing novel therapeutics to address the major unmet needs of people living with mental health disorders. The potential of the collaboration with Kinoxis to develop approaches that precisely manipulate oxytocin pharmacology is extremely exciting,” said Hugh Marston, Global Head CNS Discovery Research at Boehringer Ingelheim.
Oxytocin is an endogenous neuropeptide playing a critical role in the regulation of social behavior. Through this partnership, Kinoxis and Boehringer Ingelheim aim to unlock the therapeutic potential of targeting the brain oxytocin system to treat disrupted social behavior, which is also a barrier to engagement with psychosocial interventions that can be critical to help people living with chronic and complex mental health conditions.
Under the terms of the agreement, Kinoxis will receive an upfront payment and research support payments. The company is eligible for research, preclinical, clinical, regulatory, and commercial milestones of up to US$181 million (AU$266m), in addition to royalties on future Boehringer Ingelheim product sales.
1 1) https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/mental-disorders
About Kinoxis Therapeutics
Kinoxis Therapeutics Pty Ltd (Kinoxis) is a private, Australian-based, clinical stage biotechnology company developing first-in-class therapeutics to address the escalating demand for effective treatments for substance use disorders and social dysfunction in neurological and psychiatric disorders. Kinoxis’ development candidates are novel, small molecules that were discovered through a comprehensive medicinal chemistry and screening program at the University of Sydney. Kinoxis is backed by Uniseed, Australia’s longest running venture fund, and a consortium of sophisticated investors. Kinoxis has also secured significant funding from the US National Institute of Health National Institute on Drug Abuse for the development of its lead compound to mitigate opioid withdrawal symptoms. Learn more at www.kinoxistherapeutics.com
Uniseed is Australia’s longest running early-stage commercialisation fund that makes investments in research emanating from five of Australia’s leading research organisations – The University of Queensland, The University of Sydney, The University of New South Wales, The University of Melbourne and the CSIRO. Investment capital is also provided by UniSuper. The fund facilitates the commercialisation of its research partners’ most promising intellectual property and secures targeted investment in resulting products and technologies. https://uniseed.com
CEO – Kinoxis Therapeutics Pty Ltd
Chairman – Kinoxis Therapeutics Pty Ltd
CEO – Uniseed
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