BI, Autifony Therapeutics in $742-Million CNS Drug Pact

Boehringer Ingelheim (BI) and Autifony Therapeutics, a Verona, Italy-headquartered spin-out from GlaxoSmithKline, have signed an agreement for acquiring certain aspects of Autifony’s voltage-gated potassium channel modulator platform.

BI has obtained an exclusive option to purchase Autifony’s Kv3.1/3.2 positive modulator platform. Included in the agreement is the lead compound AUT00206, an orally active small molecule that is currently being evaluated in two Phase Ib studies, including one in patients with schizophrenia.

Under the agreement, BI will pay Autifony a €25 million ($29 million) upfront fee, with the possibility of further payments of up to €17.5 million ($20 million) during the option period based on achievement of short term milestones. The total potential transaction may sum up to €627.5 ($742 million) upon reaching development and pre-commercialization milestones once BI has exercised its option.

Schizophrenia is the most advanced indication under development with AUT00206. In addition to schizophrenia, BI says both companies have an interest to explore the Kv3.1/3.2 mechanism for other indications, including hearing disorders and orphan central nervous system (CNS) disorders, such as Fragile X Syndrome, a genetic condition that causes a range of developmental problems, including learning disabilities and cognitive impairment.

Source: Boehringer Ingelheim

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