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The German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases and Orion Corporation start strategic collaboration

Press release 7 March 2016 at 12:00 noon EET

The German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases and Orion Corporation start strategic collaboration

The German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE) and Orion Corporation, a Finnish pharmaceutical and diagnostics company, have agreed to start a strategic collaboration. They want to identify novel drug targets and develop treatments for neurodegenerative disorders.

Under the terms of the agreement, Orion has the first option to start a research and development collaboration with any individual target protein (mode of action) identified and initially validated by DZNE. The parties will conduct research and development projects together according to jointly prepared plans and with pre-defined roles and responsibilities. Both parties will cover their own costs related to these joint projects. In addition, Orion and DZNE have agreed that all future income related to individual collaboration projects shall be shared between the parties in proportion to their respective share of development investments.

"I believe that in this collaboration we can achieve the best of all worlds. Orion has a proven track record in developing new innovative treatments from molecule to man. The DZNE bundles fundamental research expertise across its nine sites in Germany to identify disease mechanisms and potential drug targets and with its university partners has the capability to conduct clinical studies in all phases. Most importantly, this collaboration is designed to foster long-awaited new innovative treatment options to patients suffering from neurodegenerative diseases", says Reijo Salonen, MD, PhD, Senior Vice President, Pharmaceutical Research and Development and Chief Medical Officer at Orion Corporation.

Pierluigi Nicotera, MD, PhD, Scientific Director and Chairman of the Executive Board at DZNE comments: "This is a new model of public-private partnership where each side will contribute equally. Our cooperation is a good example that a research institution and a pharmaceutical company can work together on a global scale. The partnership offers a unique approach to bridge the so called 'valley of death' in order to transfer scientific innovation into efficient drug development."

The DZNE is dedicated to investigating the similarities and differences of various brain diseases with special focus on dementia and all its facets. Orion is one of the leading pharmaceutical companies in the field of Parkinson's disease and the company has several ongoing promising development projects related to neurodegenerative diseases. DZNE's extensive research operations and ability to identify new mechanisms of action together with Orion's proven track record in research, development and commercialisation of pharmaceutical NCE's create a unique opportunity for the parties to combine resources complementary to each other, with the aim of bringing innovative treatments to patients suffering from neurodegenerative diseases.  It is envisioned that this model of collaboration between a research institute and a pharmaceutical company can enable more efficient transfer of scientific innovation into industrial and commercial drug development.

About DZNE
The German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE) investigates the causes of diseases of the nervous system and develops strategies for prevention, treatment and care. It is an institution within the Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres with nine sites across Germany (Berlin, Bonn, Dresden, Göttingen, Magdeburg, Munich, Rostock/Greifswald, Tübingen and Witten). The DZNE cooperates closely with universities, their clinics and other research facilities.

Holbeinstr. 13-15, 53175 Bonn, Germany
Twitter: @dzne_de

Further information:
Dr. Dirk Förger, Head of Press and Public Relations Departement, DZNE
Tel.: +49-228-43302-260

About Orion
Orion is a globally operating Finnish company developing pharmaceuticals and diagnostic tests - a builder of well-being. Orion develops, manufactures and markets human and veterinary pharmaceuticals, active pharmaceutical ingredients and diagnostic tests. The company is continuously developing new drugs and treatment methods. The core therapy areas of Orion's pharmaceutical R&D are central nervous system (CNS) disorders, oncology and respiratory for which Orion develops inhaled Easyhaler® pulmonary drugs.

Orion's net sales in 2015 amounted to EUR 1,016 million and the Company had about 3,400 employees. Orion's A and B shares are listed on Nasdaq Helsinki.

Orionintie 1A, FI-02200 Espoo, Finland
Twitter: @OrionPharma & @OrionCorpIR

Further information:
Reijo Salonen, SVP, Pharmaceutical Research and Development and Chief Medical Officer, Orion Corporation
tel. +358 50 966 3647