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Afraxis, Inc. and Servier Announce a Collaboration on ESP Platform for Drug Discovery in Central Nervous System Disorders

SAN DIEGO and PARIS, April 30, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Afraxis, Inc. ("Afraxis") and Institut de Recherches Servier ("Servier") announced a non-exclusive platform collaboration using Afraxis' Enhanced Spine Platform (ESP) Technology for the discovery of drugs to treat central nervous system (CNS) disorders.  Afraxis' ESP Technology rapidly assesses complex neural networks to evaluate preclinical efficacy and safety in CNS disorders. The technology quantifies and characterizes the morphology and maturity of synaptic dendritic spines, which are fundamental to information processing in the brain. Financial terms have not been disclosed.

"Servier is committed to bringing new medicines for the treatment of a variety of CNS diseases and disorders," said Dr. Emmanuel Canet , President of Servier Research & Development. "We recognize that Afraxis is a global leader in dendritic spine analysis which provides a sophisticated and quantifiable read-out on neuroprotection."

Dr. Christian de Bodinat, Director of CNS Research & Development added, "The ESP Technology will allow Servier to fully investigate the broad potential of our drug candidates with the aim of bringing novel medicines into the clinic more rapidly and with greater certainty of action. Servier is very active in the field of neurology with two potential first-in-class compounds in Phase II studies in Alzheimer Disease and five other compounds aimed at treating neurodegenerative diseases in late preclinical stages."

The Afraxis ESP Technology is highly adaptable to many CNS disease models and can be used to characterize disease profiles, assess preclinical drug efficacy, identify optimal dosing routines, or identify undesirable CNS side effects. 

"Servier has a strong commitment to CNS therapeutics, and their interest in the ESP Technology further illustrates the potential of this platform in a drug discovery setting," said Carmine Stengone , president and CEO of Afraxis.  "We are excited to kick-off this collaboration with Servier and look forward to a fruitful relationship."

About Servier
Servier is the leading independent French pharmaceutical company with a 2012 turnover of €3.9 billion. The Servier Group is established in 140 countries with its main therapeutic products used to treat diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, CNS disorders, oncology and rheumatological diseases. More than 25% of Servier's revenue is invested in Research & Development. Servier has 20,000 employees worldwide, including nearly 3,000 in R&D. For further information, please visit

About Afraxis, Inc.
Afraxis, Inc. is a San Diego-based drug discovery platform company recently spun-out of Afraxis Holdings. The company is part of a growing wave of innovative neuroscience that applies cutting-edge technical and computational approaches to fundamental issues in brain science that promise to generate new insights into CNS diseases. Afraxis develops and uses high-content central nervous system (CNS) pharmaceutical screening technologies to evaluate preclinical efficacy for potential treatments for neurological and psychiatric disorders.  Afraxis developed the Enhanced Spine Platform (ESP) Technology platform, which quantifies the morphology and maturity of synaptic dendritic spines which are fundamental to information processing by neural synapses in the brain. Abnormal dendritic spine quantity and morphology have been associated with numerous CNS disorders, including schizophrenia, Alzheimer's disease, Fragile X syndrome and autism. Afraxis has a strategic alliance with PsychoGenics to offer its ESP Technology as part of PsychoGenics' comprehensive testing capabilities and drug discovery science.

SOURCE Afraxis, Inc.
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