Allergan moves on with Heptares collaboration

By Melissa Fassbender

- Last updated on GMT

Heptares will receive $125m upfront. (Image: iStock)
Heptares will receive $125m upfront. (Image: iStock)
After announcing it won’t acquire Pfizer last week, Allergan has announced a partnership with Heptares to advance medications for neurological disorders.

While Allergan shares plummeted​ more than 20% after the company’s merger with Pfizer was canceled, the company has since announced a partnership with the clinical-stage company, Heptares.

Under the agreement, Allergan will license exclusive global rights to a portfolio of novel subtype-selective muscarinic receptor agonists in development for treating Alzheimer's and other neurological disorders.

"Cognitive impairment and psychosis are progressive and debilitating symptoms associated with many CNS diseases, including Alzheimer's disease, with few approved therapies available​," said David Nicholson, Executive Vice President and President, Global Brands Research and Development at Allergan. "The Heptares M1 compounds have shown promising results in early development in their ability to selectively target the M1 receptor without also activating the M2 or M3 receptors, which are associated with undesirable side effects​.”

Heptares will receive $125m upfront and is eligible to receive contingent milestone payments of up to $665m linked with the successful Phase I, II, and III clinical development and launch of the first three licensed compounds.

The company will also collect up to $2.5bn associated with achieving certain annual sales thresholds during the years following launch, in addition to royalties on net sales.

As part of the collaboration, Allergan is also committing up to $50m to a research and development program, which will be carried out by both companies, with the goal of advancing multiple candidates through Phase II clinical studies.

Shinichi Tamura, Chairman and CEO of Sosei Group Corporation, Heptares’ parent company, commented, "This new agreement with Allergan marks an important milestone in our journey to become a global biopharmaceutical company. This agreement further endorses our strategic decision to acquire Heptares in February last year, placing its GPCR-directed drug discovery and development capabilities at the heart of our business​." 

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