Procter & Gamble (P&G) and Aryx Therapeutics entered into an alliance whereby P&G will develop and commercialize Aryx’ ATI-7505 for the treatment of gastrointestinal disorders such as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and gastroparesis (delayed emptying of the stomach).

ATI-7505, an oral, serotonin type 4 (5HT4) agonist in Phase II development, has been shown to prevent the regurgitation of stomach contents into the esophagus and accelerate the emptying of the stomach.

The companies note that an earlier 5HT4 agonist, cisapride, achieved nearly $1 billion in global sales, but was withdrawn from the market in 2000 due to side effects. David Nagler, vp, corporate affairs, Aryx, says “since ATI-7505 is a novel combination of an inactive metabolite of cisapride onto which the active group is engineered, this molecule should not have the toxicity associated with cisapride.”

Under the terms of the agreement, Aryx will give P&G the rights to worldwide development and commercialization of ATI-7505 in exchange for $25 million upfront fee, milestone payments, and royalties on product sales. The total payments could reach $435 million over the life of the project, including $250 million that could be earned prior to commercialization.

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