Catalyst Biosciences Announces Agreement to Sell Three NNR Assets to Attenua

Thursday, October 20, 2016

SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, Calif., Aug. 02, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Catalyst Biosciences, Inc. (NASDAQ:CBIO), a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on creating and developing novel medicines to address serious medical conditions, today announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to sell to Attenua, Inc. certain oral Neuronal Nicotinic Receptor (NNR) assets that were under development by Targacept prior to its 2015 merger with Catalyst.

Catalyst is focused on developing protease-based medicines in the fields of hemostasis and inflammation, and prior to its merger with Targacept, decided not to develop the NNR assets. The divestiture provides an upfront payment to Catalyst and may also allow Catalyst to receive up to a total of $105 million in development, regulatory and commercial milestone payments as well as royalties on net sales from Attenua.

Catalyst President and Chief Executive Officer, Nassim Usman, Ph.D., commented, “The sale of certain NNR assets may allow Catalyst to realize additional value for a subset of these non-core assets as we remain focused on our protease therapeutic programs in hemophilia and anti-complement diseases.”

NNR agonists are a class of central nervous system drugs targeting neuronal nicotinic receptors (NNRs), also known as neuronal acetylcholine nicotinic receptors (nAChRs), which modulate the flow of neurotransmission throughout the brain and nervous system. Under the terms of the agreement, Attenua will acquire certain oral NNR assets including related intellectual property rights and materials. The assets sold to Attenua include three molecules that have aggregate clinical experience in over 1200 patients with depression, ADHD and Alzheimer’s disease in Phase 1 and 2 clinical trials.

Attenua President and Chief Executive Officer, Jing Liang, Ph.D., commented, “We are very excited about these clinical stage assets and their therapeutic potential. We plan to repurpose one molecule for cough, and another for a rare pediatric disorder. With the clinical data in a few central nervous system indications already generated, we plan to move directly into a Phase 2 proof-of-concept trial in cough in 2017.”


About Catalyst
Catalyst is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on creating and developing novel medicines to address serious medical conditions. To date, Catalyst has focused its product development efforts in the field of hemostasis, including the treatment of hemophilia and surgical bleeding, and in the field of inflammation, including prevention of delayed graft function in renal transplants and the treatment of dry age-related macular degeneration, a condition that can cause visual impairment or blindness. Catalyst’s most advanced program is an improved next-generation coagulation Factor VIIa variant, CB 813d, which has successfully completed a Phase 1 clinical trial in severe hemophilia A and B patients. In addition to Catalyst’s lead Factor VIIa program, Catalyst has two other next-generation coagulation factors, a Factor IX variant, CB 2679d/ISU 304, that is in advanced preclinical development, and a Factor Xa variant, that is in the advanced lead stage of development. For more information, please visit


About Attenua
Attenua is a clinical-stage biotech company focused primarily on developing novel, non-narcotic medicines to treat cough. Cough is a neglected medical problem in which no new drugs (NMEs/NCEs) have been approved since 1958. In the United States, 30 to 35 million prescriptions of cough medication are dispensed each year for relief of cough and symptoms associated with upper respiratory allergies or the common cold. This includes approximately 18 million prescriptions for narcotics. In particular, there is no approved medication for treating chronic cough. The Attenua team consists of research and development leaders from academia and industry, with significant combined drug discovery and development experience involving more than 60 development programs, over 20 successful New Drug Applications (NDAs), and hundreds of peer-reviewed publications. For more information, please contact


Catalyst Biosciences Forward-Looking Statements
This press release contains forward-looking statements that involve substantial risks and uncertainties. All statements, other than statement of historical facts, included in this press release regarding the potential uses of the Company’s product candidates and the Company’s product development plans, are forward-looking statements. Examples of such statements include, but are not limited to, statements relating to potential milestone and royalty payments that Catalyst may receive from Attenua. Actual results or events could differ materially from the plans, intentions, expectations and projections disclosed in the forward-looking statements. Various important factors could cause actual results or events to differ materially from the forward-looking statements that Catalyst makes, including, but not limited to, the risk that Attenua will not be successful in the development or commercialization of the NNR products it is acquiring.  Other risks and uncertainties related to Catalyst’s business are described in the “Risk Factors” section of the Company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K and Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q filed with the SEC. The Company does not assume any obligation to update any forward-looking statements, except as required by law.