Forest Laboratories is paying TransTech Pharma $50 million in a collaboration related to the former’s glucose-lowering agents for the treatment of diabetes. TransTech Pharma could earn a total of $1.105 billion in up-front and milestone fees.
The license agreement covers the development and commercialization of these small molecule compounds, which are functionally liver-selective glucokinase activators (GKAs). The licensed candidates include lead compound, TTP399, which has completed Phase I studies and other molecules in Phase I and preclinical stages.
Forest will also pay royalties on worldwide product sales and will be responsible for development and commercialization costs. TransTech Pharma retains rights to the Middle East and North Africa, while Forest receives exclusive rights to the rest of the worldwide market.
TransTech Pharma’s compounds are covered by composition of matter patents and applications, which currently, in the case of the lead compound TTP399, extend to 2025. The firm has identified a series of liver selective GKA compounds and has advanced three compounds to Phase I trials, including TTP399. The company believes that by activating glucokinase selectively in the liver but not in the pancreas, it may increase glucose utilization and lower blood glucose levels without inducing excessive insulin secretion thus reducing the risk of hypoglycemia.