Shire Partners for Eye Disease Drug in $535-Million Deal
Shire has entered into an agreement with Parion Sciences, a Durham, North Carolina-headquartered development-stage biopharmaceutical company, granting Shire exclusive worldwide rights to develop and commercialize P-321, an investigational epithelial sodium channel (ENaC) inhibitor in development for treating dry eye disease, in a deal worth up to $535 million. Shire will lead development of P-321 with the opportunity for Parion to co-fund.
While specific terms of the deal were not disclosed, Shire will make an initial $20 million upfront license payment with an additional $20 million payment based on the achievement of a near-term development milestone. Parion will be entitled to receive additional potential milestone payments, with a total potential deal value of up to $535 million. Parion has the option to co-fund through additional stages of development in exchange for enhanced tiered double-digit royalties. In addition, Parion has the option to co-fund commercialization activities and participate in the financial outcome from those activities.
P-321 is in Phase II clinical development to address tear volume deficiency and promote ocular surface healing. While further clinical trials are needed to fully evaluate its safety profile and efficacy, P-321 is a is believed to address dry eye disease by inhibiting ENaC, which is thought to block the absorption of tears, and help keep the ocular surface hydrated, according to Shire.