License agreement for chronic pain drug

April 1, 2016
Asahi Kasei Pharma Corp.

Array BioPharma Inc. (Head office: Boulder, Colorado, the US; CEO: Ron Squarer) and Asahi Kasei Pharma Corp. (Head office: Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, Japan; President: Kazuyoshi Hori) concluded a license agreement on March 31, 2016, granting Asahi Kasei Pharma rights for the development and exclusive sale in Japan, Korea, Taiwan, and China of Tropomyosin receptor kinase A (TrkA) inhibitors being developed by Array BioPharma, for any disease except cancer.

Asahi Kasei Pharma considers locomotive syndrome1 to be an important area of focus as Japan’s population continues to age, and chronic pain is one of its main fields of R&D in this area. The acquisition of rights to TrkA inhibitors is part of the company’s strategic expansion in this field.

TrkA, a receptor of nerve growth factor (NGF), appears often in nerves that transmit pain. It is believed that the stimulation of TrkA by NGF may be a cause of many kinds of chronic pain. With its original drug discovery technology, Array BioPharma is able to identify TrkA selective inhibitors, and has obtained ARRY-954 as a candidate compound for development. In animal models, ARRY-954 has shown an outstanding pain suppression effect. Asahi Kasei Pharma will begin preclinical studies2 of ARRY-954 for indications such as pain associated with osteoarthritis of the knee, chronic lower back pain, etc.

By acquiring rights to develop and sell TrkA inhibitors through this agreement, Asahi Kasei Pharma hopes to be able to provide new treatment options for chronic pain.

  1. 1 Conditions under which functions of the locomotive organs (bones, joints, intervertebral discs, muscles, etc.) deteriorate, resulting in decreased mobility. There is a high risk that care services will be required as locomotive syndrome progresses.
  2. 2 A stage in new drug development before clinical studies on human subjects are performed. Safety and efficacy of candidate compounds are investigated using animals.

About Array BioPharma

Established in 1998, Array BioPharma Inc. is a biopharmaceutical company focused on the discovery, development, and commercialization of targeted small molecule drugs to treat patients afflicted with cancer. It currently has three cancer drug programs in Phase III development.