SAN DIEGO, Jan. 23, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Neurocrine Biosciences, Inc. (NASDAQ: NBIX) announced today that two additional patents have been granted related to the Company's proprietary Vesicular Monoamine Transporter 2 inhibitor (VMAT2) NBI-98854. European Patent Number 2,081,929 was granted in January 2013 by the European Patent Office with an expiration date of November 2027. This patent covers chemical compositions, pharmaceutical compositions and uses of various compounds including our Phase IIb clinical candidate NBI-98854. In addition to the already issued composition of matter patent, the United States Patent and Trademark Office recently granted a second patent for NBI-98854. United States Patent Number 8,357,697 covers the method of treating hyperkinetic movement disorders using NBI-98854 and will expire in November 2027. This patent is in addition to the previously issued United States Patent Number 8,039,627 which covers the NBI-98854 composition and expires in late 2029. "We are very pleased to receive this composition of matter patent from the European Patent Office," said Kevin C. Gorman, Chief Executive Officer of Neurocrine Biosciences. "This EU patent, coupled with our new United States methods of use patent, and the existing United States composition of matter patent provide a strong intellectual property estate around NBI-98854. We intend to continue to expand our VMAT2 patent footprint on NBI-98854 and our other VMAT2 inhibitors in early development." About NBI-98854 VMAT2 is a protein concentrated in the human brain that is primarily responsible for re-packaging and transporting monoamines (dopamine, norepinephrine, serotonin, and histamine) among nerve cells. NBI-98854, developed in the Neurocrine laboratories, is a novel, highly-selective VMAT2 inhibitor that modulates dopamine release during nerve communication, while at the same time having minimal impact on the other monoamines or other receptors thereby reducing the likelihood of "off target" side effects. NBI-98854 is designed to provide low, sustained, plasma and brain concentrations of active drug to minimize side effects associated with excessive dopamine depletion.