Arena Pharma (ARNA) Forms Drug Discovery Incubator 'Beacon Discovery'

September 1, 2016 4:31 PM EDT

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Arena Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: ARNA) announced the formation of Beacon Discovery Inc. ("Beacon"), an independent, privately-held drug discovery incubator.

Beacon will focus on identifying and advancing molecules targeting G-Protein Coupled Receptors (GCPRs) from concept to clinic leveraging the strengths and capabilities developed over close to two decades at Arena. Beacon plans to engage global pharmaceutical partners to facilitate discovery and early stage development.

Arena will have certain rights to compounds developed by Beacon and will collaborate with Beacon in support of Arena's proprietary pipeline programs as well as the Boehringer Ingelheim International GmbH collaboration. Additionally, Arena will be entitled to certain rights to potential cash flows generated by Beacon in the future.

"The formation of Beacon underscores both our commitment to transitioning Arena from a historically research-oriented organization to a high-performing clinical development organization and our commitment to maximizing the value of our assets," said Amit Munshi, CEO of Arena. "We believe that Beacon has the potential to unlock the value of Arena's historical research platform for the long term benefit of patients and shareholders."

Dominic P. Behan, Ph.D., D.Sc., Arena's co-founder, will serve as Beacon's Chief Executive Officer and transition from being Arena's Chief Scientific Officer and a member of its Board of Directors to become the Chairman of Arena's Scientific Advisory Board and a consultant.

"I am grateful for the work that Dominic has delivered in his time at Arena. As one of the co-founders of Arena, Dominic has significantly contributed to Arena's success and we are pleased that he will continue to participate as Chairman of the Scientific Advisory Board," said Dr. Tina Nova, Chairman of Arena's Board of Directors. "Dominic's knowledge of the clinical programs at Arena will be important as we continue to evolve our business focus."

"I believe the core clinical assets at Arena have the potential to be first or best in class and look forward to supporting the Arena team in optimizing the value of these clinical programs as Chair of the Scientific Advisory Board," said Dr. Behan. "At the same time, I am very pleased to have the opportunity to launch Beacon and continue to build on Arena's historical research platform."

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