UCB signs $2bn worth deal with Roche for AD drug candidate UCB0107

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Belgian pharma company UCB has signed a global exclusive license deal worth up to $2 billion for its Alzheimer’s Disease drug candidate (AD drug candidate) UCB0107 with Roche and its subsidiary Genentech.

UCB0107 is a monoclonal antibody drug candidate, which is being developed by UCB as a potential therapy for patients with progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP), Alzheimer’s Disease, and other tauopathies.

Designed to be a recombinant, humanized, full-length IgG4 monoclonal antibody, UCB0107 is said to target a central Tau epitope, which is being developed to either block or slow down the spread of Tau pathology.

The deal, which covers the global development and commercialization of the drug candidate, is for its potential use in the treatment of Alzheimer’s Disease.

James Sabry – Global Head of Roche Pharma Partnering said: “In Alzheimer’s Disease, we are continuing to explore new molecules that address the key pathways of this complex disease. We are pleased to embark on this journey together with UCB to help expand our efforts on tau.

“Our commitment remains strong on exploring multiple approaches with the hope that our research and development, including this collaboration with UCB, will lead to a disease-modifying medicine that could positively impact millions of people with Alzheimer’s Disease.”

Roche and UCB sign $2bn worth deal for the latter's AD drug candidate UCB0107

Roche and UCB sign $2bn worth deal for the latter’s AD drug candidate UCB0107. Photo courtesy of F. Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd.

As per the terms, UCB will receive an upfront payment, initially, of $120 million. The Belgian pharma company will fund and undertake a proof-of-concept study in Alzheimer’s Disease and, after the results of the study, Genentech will have the right to either progress with the development or return full rights back to the Belgian firm.

Should Genentech decide to move ahead with further clinical development, then UCB will be eligible to get further potential cost reimbursement, development and sales milestone payments, and also royalties with a total potential consideration of up to $2 billion after securing certain regulatory approvals and meeting some clinical and sales milestones.

Charl van Zyl – UCB Executive Vice President and Head of Neurology said: “We are excited that Roche and Genentech, with their deep and wide-ranging expertise, capacity and know-how in Alzheimer’s Disease, will collaborate with UCB on UCB0107 with a shared ambition to offer people living with Alzheimer’s Disease a new treatment option.

“Our science driven, patient centric development approach, and leading experience in neurological diseases provides a uniquely holistic view towards the unmet needs and the potential for an effective anti-Tau antibody in the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s Disease and progressive supranuclear palsy. In-line with our ongoing and longstanding commitment to the neurodegeneration community, this partnership represents an important step in the potential development of this exciting new medicine.”

The closing of the deal is subject to securing antitrust clearance and meeting of other customary closing conditions.

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