January 8, 2007
LOS ANGELES, January 8, 2007 – Kythera Biopharmaceuticals, Inc. ("Kythera") announced today that it has been granted exclusive worldwide rights from Novartis Pharma AG to obtain, develop and commercialize a novel compound that inhibits microtubule polymerization. This product will initially be developed as a topical therapy for the treatment of actinic keratosis.
Under the terms of the agreement, Kythera will be responsible for the development and marketing of the product, now known as ATX-201, for all indications. This agreement marks another major milestone for Kythera, adding a second clinical stage asset to its product pipeline. In July 2005, the Company acquired intellectual property from Los Angeles Biomedical Institute at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center to develop and market ATX-101, an injectable adipolytic therapy.
Actinic keratosis (AK) is a hyperproliferative skin condition caused by excessive sun exposure and initially appears as a dry scaly lesion on the skin. The onset of AK is often subtle and can pass unnoticed for some time before diagnosis. If untreated, AKs can progress from an aesthetically undesirable mark on the skin to a type of invasive skin cancer known as squamous cell carcinoma (SCC).
ATX-201 is one of a family of compounds discovered by Novartis that act to inhibit cell division by blocking microtubule polymerization. A topical agent with this mechanism of action holds the promise of specific action against the hyperproliferating cells within the target lesion without the significant side effects and damage to the surrounding tissue seen with current therapies.
“This product is consistent with Kythera’s mission to bring novel science to the dermatology community,” said Keith Leonard, president and chief executive officer of Kythera Biopharmaceuticals. “Novartis took the lead compound through an initial clinical trial to assess safety, pharmacokinetics and preliminary dose ranging. We plan to leverage on their early work and are very pleased to add this product to our pipeline.”
About Actinic Keratosis (AK)
AKs are the most common pre-cancerous skin lesions worldwide and the treatment of AKs is the most common dermatologic procedure performed in the outpatient setting. In the US, AK affects about one percent of the population. More than five million AK- removal procedures are performed annually.