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Alexion goes back to roots with Complement deal

Published on 11/06/18 at 03:28pm

Alexion has made a lot of money from investing in the science behind complement inhibitors – C5 inhibitor, Soliris, has been a huge earner for the company.

Now, the company has decided to return to where its investment paid off and strike up a deal with Complement Pharma.

The latter company is working on a preclinical C6 complement inhibitor, CP010, for the therapeutic use in neurodegenerative disorders.

According to the company, C6 inhibition is able to stop the process whereby membrane attack complex develops, a process that is implicated in a variety of central nervous system disorders.

Alexion has promised €14 million in milestone payments to take Complement through to Phase 1b development of its candidate.

For a company of Alexion’s size, it’s a fairly cheap bet but it has also included a provision within the deal so that it can buy out Complement should its candidate show enough promise in the clinic.

“Alexion has been a pioneer in complement biology since the development of Soliris, the world’s first complement inhibitor, which has demonstrated the significant impact that C5 inhibition can have on several diseases caused by uncontrolled complement activation,” said John Orloff, Executive Vice President and Head of Research & Development at Alexion. “This collaboration provides an exciting opportunity to expand on our more than two decades of complement expertise to potentially treat additional diseases by targeting C6, a different component of the complement system.”

The deal comes only a few months after Alexion completed a much larger takeover, by spending $855 million to acquire Wilson Therapeutics.

Alexion is focused on building its pipeline beyond Soliris, a battle that has seen a new CEO join the team, in the form of Ludwig Hantson, who has been tasked with ensuring the company has a platform beyond its blockbuster.

Ben Hargreaves

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