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GEN News Highlights : Jun 16, 2010

Abbott Pays $75M to Develop Neurocrine’s GnRH Antagonists in Women’s and Men’s Health

Deal includes Phase II molecule for endometriosis and up to $500 million in milestones.

Abbott is paying Neurocrine Biosciences an initial fee of $75 million for mid-stage elagolix and all next-generation GnRH antagonists for women's and men's health. Elagolix recently completed a Phase IIb study in endometriosis and will be evaluated for the treatment of uterine fibroids.

Under the terms of the development and commercialization agreement, Abbott will fund all ongoing development activities and certain internal collaboration expenses. Neurocrine is eligible to receive additional milestone payments of approximately $500 million for the achievement of certain development, regulatory, and commercial goals. The firm will also obtain royalties on any future product sales.

Elagolix inhibits gonadatropin releasing hormone (GnRH) receptors in the pituitary gland and ultimately reduces circulating sex hormone levels. It reportedly allows partial estrogen suppression. It maintains estradiol in the low-normal range, providing symptom reduction while avoiding significant bone loss or other adverse effects that can sometimes be associated with excessive suppression of estrogen, according to Neurocrine Biosciences.

In Phase II studies, elagolix has been found to be effective in reducing the pain associated with endometriosis. To date, elagolix has been studied in 18 clinical trials totaling more than 1,000 subjects.