Provence Technologies and NexGenix announce successful lead compound development

Provence Technologies, a service provider in fine organic chemistry, and NexGenix Pharmaceuticals, a discovery and development company focused on the “next generation” of targeted therapies for cancer and diseases of the nervous system, announce today a successful collaboration for the production of NexGenix’s lead compound. NexGenix and Provence Technologies have been collaborating on the synthesis optimization and pre industrialization of this innovative molecule targeting Hsp90. Hsp90 is a member of the heat shock protein family which assists in protein folding, cell signaling, and tumor repression and is a novel target for oncology and neurodegenerative disorders. The new generation molecule, initially developed by Prof Nicolas Winssinger at Université de Strasbourg, has demonstrated efficacy in numerous oncology models.

“Thanks to Provence Technologies’ expertise in fine organic synthesis and the optimization of challenging reaction conditions, our team has managed to significantly improve the reaction route and conditions for a successful process transfer to a larger scale cGMP facility,” said Dr Babak Sayah, COO of Provence Technologies. “An approach involving constant and rigorous project management allowed Provence Technologies’ team to bring NexGenix’s compound to a very advanced stage. We put the same level of commitment into the management of NexGenix’s project as we put into our own R&D programs.”

Working within very tight schedules, Provence Technologies have successfully produced material required for preclinical testing and IND enabling studies, to enable NexGenix to achieve its IND filing goals. “Working with Provence Technologies has given us the opportunity to achieve our timelines for our lead program, while at the same time using their substantial experience to reduce costs in the process, even at this early stage of development,” said Allan Rubenstein, NexGenix’s CEO.

Provence Technologies works on the basis that having a good molecule for a precisely characterized in-vitro target is not enough to make a successful drug. If process issues are not identified at a very early stage of the development program, if the chemical pathway is not designed and optimized to allow process improvements to be planned and realized for the future, and if production cannot be maintained through the early phase of the development cycle, the chances of project failure are high – even if the compound proves itself to be very active.

Provence Technologies will attend Bio 2011 in Washington from June 27th to June 30th.

About NexGenix

NexGenix Pharmaceuticals Holdings, Inc. is a privately-held biotechnology company headquartered in New York City and with a subsidiary base in Strasbourg, France. The Company’s portfolio consists of a series of Hsp90 inhibitors, a novel target for oncology and neurodegenerative disorders, which has attracted an enormous amount of development interest in the past several years. The Company’s proprietary Hsp90 screening platform has already generated over 500 potential compounds. From this group, three lead drug candidates have been identified on the basis of superior efficacy, safety, and the ability to cross the blood brain barrier. The product profiles lend themselves to address diseases such as glioblastoma (or “glioma”, commonly known as malignant brain tumor) and other cancers, as well as neurodegenerative disorders, including the motor neuron disease ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease) and Parkinson’s disease. Each of these indications represents a world-wide market of at least USD 1B/year. In addition, the Company has a clinical stage intralesional treatment for dermal neurofibromas, the most common lesion in Neurofibromatosis Type 1, and a research stage program in inhibitors of p21-activated kinase for indications including Neurofibromatosis Type 2 and Autism Spectrum Disorders.

About Provence Technologies SAS

Provence Technologies is a privately held company incorporated in Marseille in 1998. Provence Technologies offers services to major names of the pharmaceutical, agro-chemical, biotech and cosmetic industries in the fields of fine organic synthesis, reaction optimization, pre industrial process development and difficult reaction step problem solving. Provence Technologies owns also a comprehensive analytical platform allowing it to provide services in analytical method development and validation.

Thanks to its unique experience acquired by handling its own and independent R&D programs (including pharmaceutical grade Methylene Blue synthesis, and azaindole), Provence Technologies offers innovative and cost effective technical solutions to its clients and is able to support them from early drug discovery stages to pre industrial process development.