AstraZeneca licenses skin-condition drug to Leo Pharma for $115 million upfront
UK drug firm AstraZeneca (LSE: AZN) said it has licenced its drug for skin diseases to Leo Pharma for an upfront payment of $115 million.
Leo Pharma will also pay AstraZeneca up to $1 billion in commercially-related milestones and up to mid-teen tiered percentage royalties on product sales, the company said in a statement.
Tralokinumab is a potential new medicine (an anti-IL-13 monoclonal antibody) that has completed a Phase II trial for the treatment of patients with atopic dermatitis, an inflammatory skin disease resulting in itchy, red, swollen and cracked skin.
Luke Miels, executive vice president, global product and portfolio strategy, AstraZeneca, said: “This agreement allows us to concentrate our efforts on tralokinumab’s potential for patients with severe asthma, a priority area for AstraZeneca, while benefitting from Leo Pharma’s expertise in dermatology for the continued development and commercialisation of tralokinumab in atopic dermatitis and other dermatology conditions.”
In addition, AstraZeneca has also terminated its agreement with Canadian firm Valeant Pharmaceuticals (NYSE: VRX) for brodalumab in while granting Leo Pharma the licence for the drug in Europe.
Brodalumab is an IL-17 receptor monoclonal antibody under regulatory review for patients with moderate-to-severe plaque psoriasis (a skin disease that causes red patches of skin covered with silvery scales) and in development for psoriatic arthritis (inflammation of the joints associated with psoriasis).
In September 2015, AstraZeneca and Valeant entered an agreement granting Valeant an exclusive licence to develop and commercialise brodalumab globally, outside Japan and certain other Asian countries where the rights are held by Kyowa Hakko Kirin.
Valeant will continue to lead development and commercialisation of brodalumab in the US and all other markets included in the original agreement.
Leo Pharma will gain the European rights to brodalumab under similar terms to those agreed with Valeant. Additionally, Amgen will continue to receive a low single-digit inventor royalty.
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