Roche and Memory Pharmaceuticals expanded their collaboration to include a biomarker study related to their schizophrenia product candidate. The trial is expected to begin this summer and data is anticipated by early 2009, according to Stephen Murray, M.D., Ph.D., CMO of Memory Pharmaceuticals.
MEM 3454, a nicotinic alpha-7 partial agonist already in a Phase IIa trial for the treatment of cognitive impairment associated with schizophrenia, will be used in the planned research. The primary objective is to study P50 sensory gating and mismatch negativity as potential efficacy biomarkers for nicotinic alpha-7 agonists in schizophrenia. P50 sensory gating and mismatch negativity are two neurophysiological measurements that are closely associated with nicotinic alpha-7 function and this disease, according to the companies.
The biomarker study and additional formulation and manufacturing activities for MEM 3454 will be funded by Roche under their strategic alliance signed in February 2006. According to this agreement, Memory Pharmaceuticals granted Roche an exclusive, worldwide license to its intellectual property on nicotinic alpha-7 receptor agonist compounds. Memory Pharmaceuticals is responsible for conducting Phase I trials, and Roche will assume responsibility for later-stage development and commercialization.