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UCB recently entered into an agreement with ConfometRx for the discovery of novel medicines in the neuroscience therapeutic area. This research and development (R&D) collaboration, spanning two years, will harness structural biology to gain insight into G protein coupled receptors (GPCRs) modulation in making drugs.

ConfometRx is developing a platform of structure-based drug discovery technologies to facilitate lead identification and lead optimization for GPCR.

UCB also has R&D alliances with Harvard. UCB and Harvard have three collaborative R&D projects since 2011. In Oct 2012, the third project was signed to study the microbiome in the human intestine, classifying new species and studying their impact on the immune system in order to identify new drugs for preventing or treating immunological diseases. For this study, UCB will provide Harvard up to $4.5 million.

The major neuroscience products at UCB include Vimpat (lacosamide) and Neupro (rotigotine). Vimpat and Neupro revenues for the nine months ending Sep 30, 2012 were € 237 million and € 93 million respectively.

In Dec 2012, UCB received Japanese approval for Neupro for Parkinson’s disease and restless legs syndrome. The drug was approved in the EU and US in 2006 and 2007, respectively.

Vimpat was first launched in the EU in Sep 2008, as an adjunctive therapy for treating adults and adolescents (16-18 years) suffering from partial-onset seizures (with or without secondary generalization) with epilepsy.

Earlier this month, Vimpat was approved in the EU as a single loading dose option for treating patients suffering from partial onset seizures.

UCB carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Currently, companies like Lannett Company, Inc. (LCI - Snapshot Report), SIGA Technologies, Inc. and United Therapeutics Corporation (UTHR - Analyst Report) look more attractive with a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

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