LEO Pharma, a Danish pharma company, has bagged global exclusive rights for atopic dermatitis drug JW1601 from JW Pharmaceutical (JWP) in a deal worth around KRW450 billion ($402 million).
The global licensing agreement will not cover South Korea, the home country of JWP, where the Korean pharma company will keep its exclusive rights over the atopic dermatitis drug.
Under the terms of the licensing agreement, LEO Pharma will pay an upfront amount of $17 million to JWP along with development and sales milestone payments in the future of up to $385 million. Apart from that, the Danish pharma company will also pay the Korean pharma company two digit royalty associated with the net sales of the atopic dermatitis drug.
Kim Kjoeller – Executive Vice President, Global R&D, LEO Pharma said: “We see a high unmet need for safe and effective oral treatments for people suffering from atopic dermatitis. It is therefore with great excitement that we partner with JW Pharmaceutical on their novel oral atopic dermatitis drug candidate, JW1601.
“At LEO Pharma, we continuously seek to expand our pipeline with new innovative solutions with the ultimate aim of bringing real life-changing medicines to the many patients we serve. This compound is a perfect fit with our existing biologics currently in phase III (Tralokinumab) and phase I (LP0145) and our topical Delgocitinib currently in phase II. This compound is a perfect fit with our existing biologics currently in phase III (Tralokinumab) and phase I (LP0145) and our topical Delgocitinib currently in phase II.”
JW1601 was developed by a JWP affiliate – C&C Research Laboratories. In last May 2017, JWP got the global exclusive rights to develop and commercialize the atopic dermatitis therapy for which it is looking to file an investigational new drug application (IND) for a phase 1 trial within 2018.
JW1601 is said to have a dual mechanism of action that inhibits the activation and migration of the immune cells that cause atopic dermatitis. The atopic dermatitis drug achieves this by selectively targeting the histamine H4 receptor and blocking the histamine signaling that results in itching.
Kyoung June Lee – Executive Vice President, Chief of Drug Discovery Center, JWP, said: “We find it very positive that LEO Pharma, a global leader in medical dermatology, recognizes the value of JW1601. We have confidence in successful development and global commercialization of JW1601 and we see LEO Pharma as the right partner for this project.
“JWP will do our best so that the other innovative new drug candidates under development at JWP also can show tangible result.”
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