Ore Pharmaceuticals has recently announced that it has acquired from Roche the exclusive development rights for the clinical-stage compound romazarit. Ore Pharmaceuticals specialises in identifying potential new uses for drug candidates that have previously failed clinical development for reasons other than safety.
Romazarit was originally designed by scientists at Roche as a potential disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drug. The compound showed activity in an adjuvant arthritis model although the mechanism of action was not clearly defined. Romazarit was well tolerated in phase II clinical studies for rheumatoid arthritis, but did not make it to market.
Ore Pharmaceuticals has identified novel potential therapeutic uses for romazarit in prevalent metabolic diseases such as obesity, dyslipidemia and hypercholesterolaemia and has recently filed a patent application covering use of the compound for these indications. Romazarit has been shown to modulate a key pathway related to metabolic function, and lowered lipid levels, body weight, and plasma glucose levels in preclinical models. Ore Pharmaceuticals plans to select the most appropriate of the potential indications and prepare for Phase II clinical trials. The Company will engage in out-licensing efforts in parallel with internal development efforts.