If Phase III data on eosinophilic esophagitis drug is positive, Cephalon will pay $250 million to take over Ception.

Cephalon will pay $100 million up front for an option to purchase Ception Therapeutics. The deal provides Ception with near-term money to progress late-stage development of its lead candidate and allows Cephalon to wait for final data on the product before it decides whether or not to take over the company.

Reslizumab, a mAb against interleukin-5 (IL-5), is currently in a Phase IIb/III trial for the treatment of pediatric eosinophilic esophagitis (EE). It is also in a Phase II study for eosinophilic asthma in adults. If Cephalon exercises its option, the firm will buy Ception for $250 million. Ception shareholders could receive additional payments related to clinical and regulatory milestones.

Cephalon may exercise its option at any time prior to expiration of a specified period after receipt of the final study report for the pediatric EE clinical trial. “This deal creates the opportunity for Cephalon to introduce its first biologic into the market,” comments Frank Baldino Jr., Ph.D., chairman and CEO of Cephalon. “The addition of biologics, which have a longer commercial life, will add higher value products to our portfolio.”


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