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Boston Life Sciences bids $35M for spinal cord drug license

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Hopkinton-based Boston Life Sciences Inc. reports it has put up a potential $35 million-plus for an exclusive, worldwide license with BioAxone Therapeutic Inc. of Montreal, Canada, to develop and commercialize Cethrin, as well as other specified compounds, to treat acute spinal cord injury (SCI) and other serious Central Nervous System disorders.

The license agreement has BLSI paying an upfront license fee of $10 million, payable in two installments ($2.5 million of which was paid on execution and $7.5 million due on or before March 31, 2007), possible performance milestones of up to $25 million, and ongoing royalties based on sales of Cethrin after approval.

According to executives, BLSI used borrowings available to it under the promissory notes from investors to fund the initial $2.5 million payment. The company plans to secure additional debt or equity financing to fund the $7.5 million remainder of the license fee.

Cethrin is a recombinant protein drug intended to facilitate the re-growth of axons during the critical period immediately after a major injury to the spinal cord.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has given Cethrin “Orphan Drug” status, which provides BLSI seven-year market exclusivity after FDA approval, waives select fees and streamlines requirements for clinical development.

BLSI, with 22 employees, reported a net loss of $11.5 million on no revenue for 2005.

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