BALLERUP, Denmark and PLANEGG-MARTINSRIED, Germany, February 26, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --
LEO Pharma A/S, a global pharmaceutical company specialising in dermatology, has entered into an exclusive research and license agreement with the German biotech company 4SC Discovery GmbH with the primary aim of jointly researching, developing and commercialising an oral treatment for inflammatory skin diseases such as psoriasis.
The collaboration has the potential to result in a novel and convenient breakthrough therapy for chronic skin conditions. The innovative compound, currently in the early development state, has already been proven in preclinical models to significantly reduce if not entirely eradicate symptoms of psoriasis.
Under the agreement, LEO Pharma will issue an upfront payment of EUR 1 million to 4SC Discovery and additional funding for research and development. LEO Pharma will receive an exclusive option to license the worldwide marketing and commercialisation rights of the compound for use in inflammatory skin diseases, including psoriasis and other therapeutic areas. Upon LEO Pharma exercising the option, 4SC Discovery will be eligible for a milestone payment of up to EUR 3 million and further payments upon achieving specific development milestones of up to EUR 92 million as well as up to double-digit royalties.
Improving quality of life
The deal marks the latest milestone in LEO Pharma's ambitious growth strategy, which involves actively seeking new opportunities to expand the company pipeline for the benefit of patients.
Kim Kjoeller, Senior Vice President, Global Development, LEO Pharma, said: "LEO Pharma is excited about the agreement with 4SC and the possibilities it offers patients. The compound has the potential to completely eradicate symptoms of psoriasis, liberating people from the burden of this chronic skin disease. LEO Pharma strives to constantly expand and improve treatment options for patients and this latest deal is the perfect example of our commitment to meeting patient needs with breakthrough novel therapies."
New breakthrough therapy
For 4SC Discovery, the deal marks a key early-stage partnering deal with one of the company's compounds from its research engine.
Dr. Daniel Vitt, Managing Director of 4SC Discovery GmbH and Chief Scientific Officer at 4SC AG, commented: "We are delighted to have won LEO Pharma, a global leader in skin diseases, as an ideal research and license partner for our highly innovative compound, which is based on the modulation of cytokines. Our goal is now to speed up and jointly develop a novel breakthrough therapy addressing the high medical need in chronic inflammatory skin diseases such as psoriasis. This partnership again demonstrates the great expertise and scientific potential of 4SC in the fields of autoimmune and inflammatory diseases."
About LEO Pharma A/S
Founded in 1908, LEO Pharma is an independent, research-based pharmaceutical company. LEO Pharma develops, manufactures and markets pharmaceutical drugs to dermatologic and thrombotic patients in more than 100 countries globally. The company has its own sales forces in 61 countries and employs around 5,000 people worldwide. LEO Pharma is headquartered in Denmark and is wholly owned by the LEO Foundation.
About 4SC Discovery GmbH and 4SC Group
4SC Discovery GmbH, a wholly-owned subsidiary of 4SC AG, specialises in the early-stage research and discovery of novel therapeutic compounds against cancer and autoimmune diseases. 4SC Discovery offers its technologies and research services to other companies and engages in partnerships with pharmaceutical and biotech companies to accelerate the development and commercialisation of its own early-stage therapeutic programmes. 4SC Group focuses on the discovery and clinical development of targeted small-molecule drugs for the treatment of cancer and autoimmune diseases in order to enhance patients' quality of life. At the end of 2012, 4SC Group had 86 employees. The company was founded in 1997 and has been listed on the Prime Standard of the Frankfurt Stock Exchange since December 2005.
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