Pharma Focus Asia

Healx and Ovid Therapeutics to Enter Strategic Partnership

Wednesday, February 09, 2022

Ovid Therapeutics, a biopharmaceutical company committed to developing medicines that transform the lives of people with neurological diseases, and Healx, the AI-powered, patient-inspired technology company pioneering the next generation of drug discovery, announced that Healx has secured from Ovid an exclusive option to license rights to develop and commercialize gaboxadol. Under the agreement, Healx plans to investigate the compound as part of a potential combination therapy for Fragile X syndrome, as well as a treatment for other indications.

Gaboxadol has previously been tested as a monotherapy for Fragile X syndrome in a Phase 2a clinical study by Ovid. Healx will now seek to find an optimal treatment for the condition by combining gaboxadol with other compounds, including HLX-0201, that have been identified by the company’s proprietary AI platform, Healnet. Alongside the initial focus on Fragile X syndrome, Healx plans to use its cutting-edge indication expansion technology to identify other conditions that could also be treated by gaboxadol.

“Gaboxadol shows encouraging activity and a good safety profile in a range of conditions. We are keen to see its clinical value unlocked,” said Jeremy Levin, D.Phil, MB BChir, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of  Ovid Therapeutics. “We’re impressed by the capabilities that Healx has developed and are optimistic that they can unlock effective drug combinations that will take advantage of the unique mechanism that underlies the effects we see when patients take gaboxadol.”

“This agreement represents an exciting opportunity for Healx to advance more potential treatments for rare conditions towards the clinic, and, hopefully, deliver them to patients in need,” commented Dr. Tim Guilliams, co-founder and CEO at Healx. “We are excited to be deploying our innovative combination and indication expansion methods to identify new therapeutic opportunities for compounds like gaboxadol.”

Should Healx exercise its option, Ovid will receive milestone payments for specific clinical, regulatory, and commercial achievements associated with gaboxadol’s development. Additionally, Healx will pay Ovid tiered royalties on net sales associated with marketed therapies containing gaboxadol. Ovid will retain the option to become Healx’s co-development and co-commercialization partner and will share net profits and losses in lieu of the milestones and royalty payments. Ovid does not plan to conduct further trials with gaboxadol.

This collaboration with Ovid follows Healx’s announcement last year that it had entered an indication expansion partnership with Japan-based Ono Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd. Collaborations like those with Ono Pharmaceutical and Ovid Therapeutics are an important part of Healx’s mission to deliver novel, effective treatments to rare disease patients in need. The Healx team is open to exploring other opportunities with industry, patient, and academic groups. Interested parties can find out more about partnering here.

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