Fortress Biotech, Inc. (NASDAQ:FBIO) (“Fortress”) today announced that Baergic Bio, Inc. (“Baergic”), a newly formed Fortress partner company, has entered into an exclusive worldwide licensing agreement with AstraZeneca for AZD7325, a novel α2/3–subtype-selective GABA A positive allosteric modulator (“PAM”), as well as an agreement with Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center (“Cincinnati Children’s”) to advance clinical development in select central nervous system (“CNS”) disorders. As part of Baergic’s formation, AstraZeneca will provide exclusive worldwide rights to AZD7325, now known as BAER-101, including clinical data generated to date, and will have an equity position in Baergic.
BAER-101 will continue to be evaluated in pre-clinical and clinical settings in areas of unmet need where a selective GABA A PAM has shown evidence to be an impactful therapeutic. By specifically targeting α2/3–subtypes, BAER-101 may minimize adverse events that are typically seen with benzodiazepines, which engage α1. Among these adverse events is a significant sedative liability, which makes benzodiazepines not well suited for chronic use. BAER-101’s unique selectivity will give Baergic the ability to explore its use in a number of CNS disorders where patients are not adequately treated.
Lindsay A. Rosenwald, M.D., Fortress’ Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer, said, “We are thrilled to be working with AstraZeneca and Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center to develop BAER-101. There are several CNS disorders where a selective GABA A PAM has the potential to improve the care of patients. We look forward to exploring the indications for which BAER-101 is most suitable and efficiently advancing the development of this novel therapy.”