AbbVie, BI Partner on Immunology Compounds

AbbVie and Boehringer Ingelheim have formed a global collaboration to develop and commercialize BI 655066, an anti-IL-23 monoclonal biologic antibody in Phase III development for psoriasis. AbbVie and Boehringer Ingelheim also are evaluating the potential of this biologic therapy in Crohn's disease, psoriatic arthritis, and asthma. In addition to the anti-IL-23 antibody, AbbVie gains rights to an anti-CD-40 antibody, BI 655064, currently in Phase I development. Boehringer Ingelheim will retain responsibility for further development of BI 655064, and AbbVie may elect to advance the program after completion of certain undisclosed clinical achievements.

Under the terms of the license agreement, AbbVie will make an initial upfront payment of $595 million. Boehringer Ingelheim will be eligible to receive additional development and regulatory milestone payments and royalties on net sales, the terms of which are not disclosed. In the initial period, the companies will share the responsibility for future development of BI 655066. AbbVie will be solely responsible for commercialization of BI 655066 while Boehringer Ingelheim will retain an option to co-promote the compound in asthma. The companies will also establish a joint Steering Committee for the development as well as the initial commercialization phase. The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions and clearance under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act.

BI 655066 is in Phase II development for Crohn's disease and asthma and is about to enter Phase II development for psoriatic arthritis. BI 655066 selectively blocks IL-23, a key protein involved in skin inflammation which has been linked to an overactive immune system and is one of the drivers of psoriasis.

BI 655064 is an antagonistic anti-CD40 antibody. The CD40-CD40L pathway may play a major role in immune disease such as lupus nephritis, Crohn's disease, and ulcerative colitis.

Source: Boehringer Ingelheim

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