Icagen, Inc. today provided an update on its sodium channel program for pain and related disorders, which is being conducted in collaboration with Pfizer. Pfizer and Icagen have initiated a clinical study in healthy volunteers of several collaboration compounds in order to assist in the selection of compounds for further clinical development. The initiation of this study triggers milestone payments to Icagen of $3 million. Pfizer has funded all aspects of the collaboration, including research and preclinical development efforts at Icagen, and has exclusive worldwide rights to commercialize products that result from the collaboration.
P. Kay Wagoner, CEO of Icagen, stated, “We are very pleased to report positive progress in our sodium channel pain collaboration with Pfizer in which compounds are now being advanced into first-in-man studies. As we have reported previously, the scientific partnership between Icagen and Pfizer has been successful in identifying novel, potent and selective blockers of the sodium channel Nav1.7, also referred to as SCN9A. Loss of function mutations of this channel have been genetically linked to the congenital inability to experience pain, and conversely gain of function mutations are implicated in the pain underlying primary erythromelalgia and paroxysmal extreme pain disorder. Based upon these genetic linkages, Nav1.7 is believed to be among the most promising targets for new pain therapeutics.”
Gillian Burgess, Chief Scientific Officer of Pfizer’s Pain Research Unit, stated, “We are pleased with the work we have done with Icagen on sodium channels for pain. We believe that the joint identification of these proprietary molecules targeting sodium channels in our collaboration is an exciting advance in this field.”