Purdue Pharma in Psoriasis Therapy Pact

Purdue Pharma, a Stamford, Connecticut-based pharmaceutical company, has signed a research collaboration, option, and license agreement with Exicure, a Skokie, Illinois-based clinical-stage biotechnology company, to discover and develop a treatment for psoriasis and other diseases amenable to a gene-regulation approach.

The agreement will use Exicure’s Spherical Nucleic Acid (SNA) technology. SNAs are nanoscale, spherical arrangements of densely packed and radially oriented nucleic acids designed to target gene regulation and immune-modulatory agents.

Purdue Pharma, upon exercise of the options, will obtain full worldwide development and commercial rights to Exicure’s lead compound, AST-005, an investigational, topically applied SNA that targets tumor necrosis factor (TNF), a pro-inflammatory cytokine shown to be a mediator of psoriasis, according to the companies. Purdue Pharma will also obtain rights to three additional collaboration targets with associated intellectual property, upo exercise of the options.

Under the agreement, Exicure received an upfront payment, will receive an equity investment, and could potentially receive development, regulatory, and commercial milestone compensation, which together with the upfront payment and equity investment, could total up to $790 million, if all programs are fully developed. The company would also receive royalties on potential sales of the products.

Source: Purdue Pharma

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