FDAnews Drug Daily Bulletin


April 18, 2006

Pfizer announced it had entered an agreement to acquire Rinat Neuroscience, a biotech firm developing therapeutic proteins for the treatment of diseases affecting the central nervous system.

The most advanced new drug candidate in Rinat's pipeline is RN624, a potential new treatment for acute and chronic pain that is currently entering Phase II clinical trials, Pfizer said recently. RN624 inhibits nerve growth factor, which may play a role in reducing chronic pain without side effects common in similar therapies, Pfizer noted.

Rinat also is developing RN1219 for the potential treatment of Alzheimer's disease. A humanized monoclonal antibody, RN1219 has been shown to reduce amyloid plaque in preclinical studies. The buildup of amyloid deposits in the brain contributes to the progressive death of nerve cells that occurs in Alzheimer's patients, the firm said. In addition, Rinat is researching compounds to treat migraine prophylaxis and cachexia, obesity, neuropathy and Parkinson's disease.

Finding new, more effective treatments for patients is a high priority for Pfizer research and development, said John LaMattina, president of global R&D for Pfizer.

Pfizer sees "tremendous potential" in Rinat's research to develop new medicines, notably for the treatment of Alzheimer's disease, he said. "Combining Rinat's potential product portfolio with Pfizer's capabilities is a further step in our strategy to enhance Pfizer's internal research and development efforts with high-potential, externally sourced product candidates and technologies," LaMattina said.