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Amgen and Novartis collaborate on Alzheimer’s research

Will work on the development and commercialisation of BACE inhibitors
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Amgen and Novartis have signed a deal to co-develop and commercialise a range of new Alzheimer's disease and migraine drugs.

In Alzheimer's disease the firms will work together on BACE inhibitor programmes, with Novartis' phase I/II candidate CNP520 as the lead molecule. 

CNP520 is an oral BACE inhibitor designed to prevent the production of different types of amyloid in the brain that could potentially stop, slow or delay symptoms typically associated with Alzheimer's. 

David Epstein, head of Novartis, said: “This collaboration with Amgen highlights our commitment to neuroscience and to bring multiples, new targeted therapies to patients living with Alzheimer's disease and migraine, where the unmet medical need remains high.”

BACE inhibitors, in common with other areas of Alzheimer's research, have faced development difficulties in recent years and in 2013, Eli Lilly scrapped its BACE inhibitor LY2886721 over concerns on its effect on liver function.

Nonetheless, CNP520 could potentially offer new hope in the treatment of Alzheimer's, the market for which is predicted to increase from a market of $4.9bn in 2013 to $13.3bn in 2023. 

The companies have agreed that for the BACE inhibitor programme, Amgen will pay an upfront payment and milestone payments as well as disproportional R&D costs for a set period of time, followed by a 50:50 equal share of profits.

The deal is similar to that struck between AstraZeneca and Eli Lilly last year in which Lilly agreed to pay up to $500m to co-develop an Alzheimer's drug in AZ's pipeline.

Additionally, Amgen's phase III AMG334 and phase I AMG301 will be further developed for the treatment of migraines. Novartis' will fund disproportional R&D expenses for the migraine portfolios and pay Amgen double-digit royalties on sales.

Article by
Nikhil Patel

2nd September 2015

From: Research

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