San Diego-based Neuropore Therapies and Belgium firm UCB are collaborating to develop and market therapeutic products aimed at slowing the progression of Parkinson’s disease and related neurodegenerative disorders.

UCB will pay the California biopharma $20 million upfront and potential development, regulatory, and sales-based milestone payments of up to $460 million, in addition to royalties on net sales.

The deal includes NPT200-11, Neuropore’s small molecule that targets pathogenic alpha-synuclein, which is currently in preclinical development and is expected to enter Phase I this year, the company said.

As part of the global agreement, UCB will receive the exclusive license to develop and commercialize NPT200-11 in all indications. The companies will work together to complete nonclinical studies. UCB plans to lead all further clinical development and commercialization.

According to Neuropore, NPT200-11 can block the pathological protein misfolding, aggregation, and deposition that contribute to synaptic dysfunction and cell death by stabilizing conformations of alpha-synuclein that are then incapable of assembling into toxic pore-like oligomers in cell membranes.

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