Aciex Enters Into Collaborative Research Agreement with Portola to Develop Dual Syk/JAK Inhibitors for Ophthalmic Indications

  Aciex Enters Into Collaborative Research Agreement with Portola to Develop
  Dual Syk/JAK Inhibitors for Ophthalmic Indications

Business Wire

BOSTON -- February 27, 2013

Aciex Therapeutics, Inc. (Aciex) today announced that it has entered into a
collaborative research agreement with Portola Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Portola)
that provides Aciex with exclusive rights to develop Portola’s small molecule
dual Spleen Tyrosine Kinase (Syk)/Janus Kinase (JAK) inhibitors for ophthalmic
indications. The Portola library includes both compounds with extensive
preclinical systemic data packages as well as earlier stage research
compounds. The two companies will target development of drugs to treat topical
ophthalmic diseases, including ocular allergy, dry eye and other inflammatory
eye conditions, for which there is a strong scientific rationale for Syk and
JAK inhibition.

Under the terms of the agreement, Aciex will obtain access to Portola’s small
molecule dual Syk/JAK inhibitors and will lead clinical development activities
for ophthalmic indications. Both companies will fund and participate in
development activities related to the programs. Portola retains the right to
develop these compounds for non-ophthalmic indications.

“This strategic partnership combines Aciex’s specific ophthalmic research and
development capability with Portola’s expertise in cellular signaling pathways
and medicinal chemistry to advance treatments for inflammatory ocular
conditions,” said Les Kaplan, Ph.D., executive chairman of Aciex. “Aciex
shares with Portola a common goal of using leading-edge science to develop and
deliver therapies for patients who currently have limited or no approved

Dr. Mark Abelson, Clinical Professor of Ophthalmology at Harvard Medical
School and Senior Clinical Scientist at Schepens Eye Research Institute and
Chief Scientific Officer at Ora, Inc. (Ora) said, “We are excited about this
class of drugs. The Syk and JAK pathways targeted by Portola’s compounds offer
the potential to provide robust inhibition of the mast cell and other
inflammatory components of ocular disease and represent the next generation of
therapy for the eye.” Ora will provide clinical development and regulatory
consulting services to the collaboration.

About Aciex Therapeutics, Inc.

Aciex Therapeutics, Inc., located in Boston, MA, is a venture-backed
ophthalmic pharmaceutical company focused on developing first-in-class
products to treat ocular diseases. Existing investors in Aciex include Akorn,
Inc., Bay City Capital, HealthCare Ventures, New Enterprise Associates and Ora
Investment Group. Aciex’s product pipeline, which includes both clinical stage
and pre-IND assets, is designed to fill significant unmet therapeutic needs
and allow the Company to build a sustainable ophthalmic franchise. For more
information about Aciex, visit

About Portola Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

Portola Pharmaceuticals is a biopharmaceutical company focused on developing
and commercializing novel therapeutics in the areas of thrombosis, other
hematologic disorders and inflammation for patients that currently have
limited or no approved treatments. In thrombosis, Portola is developing
betrixaban, a novel, oral, once-daily inhibitor of Factor Xa in development
for extended duration prophylaxis of venous thromboembolism (VTE) in acute
medically ill patients; and PRT4445, an antidote for Factor Xa
inhibitors.Portola’s two other product candidates are orally available kinase
inhibitors with unique pharmacologic properties targeting hematologic cancers
and inflammatory disorders: PRT2070, which inhibits both spleen tyrosine
kinase (Syk) and Janus kinases (JAK) enzymes, which regulate important
signaling pathways; and PRT2607, which selectively inhibits Syk. Portola is
developing PRT2070 for the treatment of certain B-cell hematologic cancers,
with a particular focus on patients who have mutations that cause failure or
relapse with existing treatments and those in development.Portola has a
collaboration agreement with Biogen Idec to develop specific inhibitors of
Syk. For more information, visit


Pascale Communications, LLC
Allison Potter, 412-228-1678
Press spacebar to pause and continue. Press esc to stop.