Agreement could earn Biotest up to $395 million in success-based fees.

Abbott Laboratories and Biotest entered a global agreement to develop and commercialize BT-061, an anti-CD4 antibody for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and psoriasis. Biotest will receive an up-front fee of $85 million and up to $395 million linked to the achievement of development, regulatory, commercial, and sales-based milestones.

BT-061 is currently in Phase II trials for both indications, and preclinical studies are under way to study its potential in other immune-related diseases. It works by activating the body’s T-regulatory cells, strengthening a natural function of the body that prevents excessive immune reactions. Unlike other anti-CD4 antibodies that have been in development, BT-061 does not cause depletion of CD4 positive T-cells that would give rise to weakened immune responses, according to Biotest.

Under terms of the agreement, Biotest will be responsible for manufacturing the initial clinical supply of BT-061, and the companies will share responsibility for commercial production. The firms will co-promote BT-061 in five major European markets (Germany, France, U.K., Italy, and Spain). Abbott will have exclusive global rights to commercialize BT-061 outside those countries.

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