October 31, 2002
COPENHAGEN, DK. and BOSTON, MASS. -- Ferring Pharmaceuticals and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) today announced they have signed a collaborative agreement to discover and develop new drugs for the treatment of osteoporosis.
The collaboration between Ferring and BIDMC investigators Michael Rosenblatt, M.D, Michael Chorev, Ph.D., and Joseph Alexander, Ph.D., will focus on the role of the parathyroid hormone (PTH) and its receptor in bone metabolism, an area of research for which the three scientists, led by Rosenblatt, have made significant advances in recent years.
"Our studies of the molecular pathophysiology and cell biology of osteoporosis have led to a critical understanding of the PTH hormone and receptor as integral components to the process of bone formation," says Dr. Rosenblatt, who is Chief of the Division of Bone and Mineral Research at BIDMC and the George Richards Minot Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. "This collaboration with Ferring Pharmaceuticals will provide us the opportunity to design and test new activators and suppressors of the PTH pathway in our efforts to develop more effective drugs for the treatment of osteoporosis."
Osteoporosis is a growing problem throughout the U.S. and the world. The most common of skeletal disorders, the disorder affects an estimated 15 percent of all women and five percent of all men by the age of 80, and is the major cause of disability and death in the elderly. Characterized by a progressive decrease in bone density, osteoporosis causes bones to become brittle, weakened and easily fractured. Since a person's bone mass naturally begins to decline after age 35, and is accelerated in women following menopause, early diagnosis and treatment is key to preventing serious disability.
Under the terms of the three-year agreement, BIDMC will receive compounds from Ferring Pharmaceuticals to test as activators or suppressors of the PTH pathway. The two parties will then collaborate in the design and testing of new peptide therapies for the treatment and prevention of bone loss.
"This agreement brings to bear Ferring's expertise in the areas of peptide chemistry, pharmacology and drug-delivery systems," says Alan Harris, Vice President of Portfolio Planning and Technology Transfer for the European-based company. With research and development facilities in San Diego US, Chilworth UK and Copenhagen Denmark, Ferring Pharmaceuticals was among the world's first drug companies to produce synthetic peptides on a commercial scale. Today, the company focuses on the research and commercial development of peptides, compounds that play a role in virtually all of the body's systems.
Prof. Rosenblatt serves on the Board of Directors of Ferring Holding SA
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center is a major patient care, research and teaching affiliate of Harvard Medical School and a founding member of CareGroup Healthcare System. Beth Israel Deaconess is the third largest recipient of National Institutes of Health research funding among independent teaching hospitals.
Ferring is a research driven, speciality biopharmaceutical group active in global markets. The company identifies, develops and markets innovative products in the areas of urology, obstetrics and infertility, gastroenterology and endocrinology. In recent years Ferring has expanded beyond its traditional European base and now has operating subsidiaries in over 40 countries.
To learn more about Ferring or our products please visit us at www.Ferring.com
For more information, please contact:
Ferring International Center
Telephone: + 45 28 78 72 09