BLU-5937 is a potent, highly selective, orally bioavailable small molecule antagonist of the P2X3 receptor, a clinically validated target for chronic cough. BLU-5937 is a promising best-in-class drug candidate that has the potential to help millions of chronic cough patients who do not respond to current therapies. Rights to BLU-5937 were obtained under a license agreement with the NEOMED Institute in February 2017.

The P2X3 antagonist program was initiated by AstraZeneca scientists in Montreal, and assigned to NEOMED in October 2012. BLU-5937 was selected as a drug candidate to advance towards the clinic based on comprehensive structure-activity relationship testing at AstraZeneca and extensive preclinical development efforts in chronic cough undertaken by NEOMED.

On April 24, 2017, the Company announced that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office issued U.S. Patent No. 9,598,409, which grants claims covering the composition of matter of BELLUS’ Health lead drug candidate, BLU-5937, and related imidazopyridine compounds, in addition to pharmaceutical compositions comprising BLU-5937 and uses thereof. The patent has an expiration date of 2034, excluding any potential patent term extension. Patent applications with similarly broad claims are currently pending in Europe, Japan, China and other industrialized nations. 

The Company is currently performing preclinical studies in order to complete its package for submission of an Investigational New Drug (IND) application expected in 2018. The Company plans to initiate a phase 1 clinical study in the second half of 2018.

Chronic cough is a cough that lasts more than eight weeks and is associated with significant adverse social, psychosocial and physical effects on quality of life. It is estimated that, in the United States alone, more than 2.7 million patients suffer from chronic cough that is not controlled by currently available medications.

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