Clarus Therapeutics and McGill University Announce Exclusive Worldwide Licensing Agreement to Develop and Commercialize Technology to Treat Rare Conditions Associated with Coenzyme-Q10 (Ubiquinone) DeficienciesAgreement to accelerate development of potential treatments for rare, endocrine, metabolic, and neurological conditions associated with primary and secondary ubiquinone deficiencies which belong to the wider class of mitochondrial diseases
An estimated 1 in 5,000 adults worldwide has a mitochondrial disease
Clarus to pay McGill $350,000 upfront and up to $10.5 million in potential development and regulatory milestones
NORTHBROOK, IL AND GREENWICH, CT – September 16, 2021 – Clarus Therapeutics Holdings, Inc. (“Clarus”) (Nasdaq:CRXT), a pharmaceutical company dedicated to providing solutions to unmet medical needs by advancing androgen and metabolic therapies for men and women, and McGill University (“McGill”), Canada’s top ranked medical doctoral university, today announced a licensing agreement whereby Clarus will develop and commercialize McGill’s proprietary technology designed to treat conditions associated with CoQ10 deficiencies in humans.
CoQ10 is synthesized in the inner membrane of mitochondria, a cellular organelle whose primary function is to produce the body’s chemical energy. Deficiencies of CoQ10 can lead to severe multiple organ dysfunctions that involve the brain, nerves, kidneys, heart, GI tract and muscle. Oral CoQ10 is largely ineffective because it does not result in intracellular uptake of CoQ10. McGill has identified a method to substantially increase such uptake, thereby forming the basis for a new, and potentially profound, method of addressing deficiencies of CoQ10.
“This collaboration with world-renowned McGill University expands our focus beyond androgen-based medicines to a metabolic therapy for CoQ10 deficiencies that have very limited treatment options,” said Dr. Robert Dudley, Clarus’s Founder, President and Chief Executive Officer. “Knowing the role McGill’s discovery may have to address this important, unmet medical need is a terrific opportunity, and we are excited to get started.”
McGill’s discovery, a combination of CoQ10 plus caspofungin (an FDA-approved antifungal drug for adults and children), was made by Dr. Siegfried Hekimi and his colleague, Dr. Ying Wang. Dr. Hekimi is a Professor of Biology and holds the Robert Archibald & Catherine Louise Campbell Chair in Developmental Biology. He is an expert in aging research and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, which awarded him the Flavelle Medal for his outstanding contribution to biological science.
“Deficiencies of CoQ10 are a major medical challenge, and I am delighted that a discovery from my laboratory has been licensed by Clarus,” said Dr. Hekimi. “We look forward to working with the excellent team at Clarus to bring forward a treatment that could be potentially game changing for individuals afflicted with a severe lack of CoQ10 as well as individuals with other mitochondrial disease.”
Terms of the Agreement
Under the terms of the licensing agreement, Clarus will pay McGill a one-time upfront payment of $350,000 and up to $10.5 million in potential development and regulatory milestone payments. Additionally, McGill would be eligible for up to $30 million in potential commercial milestone payments. The success-based milestones denote important steps associated with building value for these programs.
About Mitochondrial Diseases
Mitochondrial diseases are chronic, genetic diseases that occur when the mitochondria, structures in our body cells that produce energy from oxygen and food, fail to function properly. Mitochondrial diseases can affect almost any area of the body and can occur at any age, making them often misdiagnosed. It is estimated that approximately one in 5,000 adults worldwide has a mitochondrial disease.
About Clarus Therapeutics Holdings, Inc.
Clarus Therapeutics Holdings, Inc. is a pharmaceutical company with expertise in developing androgen and metabolic therapies for men and women – including potential therapies for orphan indications. Clarus Therapeutics’ first commercial product is JATENZO®. For more information, visit www.clarustherapeutics.com and www.jatenzo.com. Follow us on Twitter (@Clarus_Thera) and LinkedIn (Clarus Therapeutics).
About McGill University
Founded in Montreal, Quebec, in 1821, McGill University is Canada’s top ranked medical doctoral university. McGill is consistently ranked as one of the top universities, both nationally and internationally. It is a world-renowned institution of higher learning with research activities spanning two campuses, 11 faculties, 13 professional schools, 300 programs of study and over 40,000 students, including more than 10,200 graduate students. McGill attracts students from over 150 countries around the world, its 12,800 international students making up 31% of the student body. Over half of McGill students claim a first language other than English, including approximately 19% of our students who say French is their mother tongue.
Clarus Forward-Looking Statements
Certain statements in this press release constitute “forward-looking statements” for purposes of the federal securities laws. The words “anticipate,” “believe,” “contemplate,” “continue,” “could,” “estimate,” “expect,” “intends,” “may,” “might,” “plan,” “possible,” “potential,” “predict,” “project,” “should,” “will,” “would” and similar expressions may identify forward-looking statements, but the absence of these words does not mean that a statement is not forward-looking. Clarus’ forward-looking statements in this press release include, but are not limited to, statements regarding its or its management team’s expectations, hopes, beliefs, intentions or strategies regarding the future, including those relating to the potential benefits and outcomes of the collaboration with McGill, and the ability to develop products for conditions associated with CoQ10 deficiencies, whether or not the success-based milestones will become payable. These forward-looking statements are based on current expectations and beliefs concerning future developments and their potential effects. There can be no assurance that future developments affecting us will be those that Clarus has anticipated. These forward-looking statements involve a number of risks, uncertainties (some of which are beyond Clarus’ control) or other assumptions that may cause actual results or performance to be materially different from those expressed or implied by these forward-looking statements. These risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, the risks associated with pharmaceutical development, risks associated with Clarus’ financial position, and those factors described under the heading “Risk Factors” in the proxy/prospectus filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) on July 23, 2021, and those that are included in any of Clarus’ future filings with the SEC. Should one or more of these risks or uncertainties materialize, or should any of Clarus’ assumptions prove incorrect, actual results may vary in material respects from those projected in these forward-looking statements. Some of these risks and uncertainties may in the future be amplified by the COVID-19 pandemic and there may be additional risks that Clarus considers immaterial, or which are unknown. It is not possible to predict or identify all such risks. Clarus’ forward-looking statements only speak as of the date they are made, and Clarus does not undertake any obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as may be required under applicable securities laws.
Clarus Investor Relations Contact:
(847) 562-4300 x 206