Roche and Toyama Chemical enter licensing agreement to develop potential breakthrough drug to treat rheumatoid arthritis
Novel agent T-5224 may block the progressive destruction of joint and bone
Toyama Chemical Co., Ltd. and Roche announced today that they have entered into a licensing agreement for the worldwide research, development and commercialization of Toyama Chemical’s novel oral rheumatoid arthritis agent T-5224. By inhibiting a specific inflammatory process, T-5224 has the potential to block signs and symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis as well as the progressive destruction of joint and bone. T-5224 is currently in phase I. With this partnership, Roche is further strengthening its promising portfolio and R&D pipeline in the area of rheumatoid arthritis.
“This novel oral compound complements Roche’s developing portfolio of drug candidates in inflammation and rheumatoid arthritis. The agent T-5224 has the potential to inhibit a key trigger of rheumatoid arthritis and has already shown promising pharmacological efficacy and safety in early clinical studies,” said Jean-Jacques Garaud, Head of Roche Pharma Development. “Our new collaboration is good news for all patients with rheumatoid arthritis as well as for our two companies. We are looking forward to collaborating with our new colleagues in Japan to develop T-5224.”
“By entering into a research and development collaboration with Roche, one of the world’s leading research and development companies, we are able to increase Toyama’s potential for novel drug development in the anti-inflammatory field, which is a field of concentration for Toyama Chemical,” said Masuji Sugata, President of Toyama Chemical.
Under the terms of the agreement, Toyama Chemical has granted Roche exclusive rights to research, develop, and sell T-5224 worldwide excluding Japan where Toyama Chemical will retain exclusive rights. The agreement also encompasses the joint research and development of back-up candidates to T-5224. Toyama Chemical will receive upfront payments and milestone payments totalling up to 370 million US dollars, based on certain development and commercial milestones. If approved for marketing, Toyama Chemical will receive royalties based on the net sales of T-5224 by Roche.
T-5224 is an inhibitor of the transcription factor AP-1 (Activator Protein-1) which is known to play an important role in the pathology of rheumatoid arthritis. AP-1 turns on a variety of genes in response to inflammation triggers, including many that are responsible for the proteins that are the targets of current rheumatoid arthritis products. In addition, in joint cells called osteoclasts, AP-1 stimulates the production of enzymes that are thought specifically to cause the destruction of bones and joint tissue. Therefore, by inhibiting the AP-1 process, T-5224 affects several key pathways and may prevent the progression of this disabling disease in many patients.
T-5224 was first identified as a drug candidate in rheumatoid arthritis through collaboration between Toyama Chemical Research and Professors Shunichi Shiozawa of Kobe University and Shuichi Hirono of Kitasato University. Non-clinical studies were completed through this collaboration and Phase I studies have been carried out in Japan since June of last year. Toyama Chemical is receiving, through the Contract Development Program, support from the Japan Science and Technology Agency, an independent administrative institution, for its research and development in Japan.
About rheumatoid arthritis
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a progressive, systemic autoimmune disease characterized by chronic inflammation of multiple joints and fatigue as well as the possibility of osteoporosis, anaemia, and lung, skin and liver effects. This inflammation causes pain, stiffness and swelling, resulting in loss of joint function due to destruction of the bone and cartilage, often leading to progressive disability. Further, as chronic inflammation continues, there may be shortening of life expectancy as a result of effects on major organ systems. After 10 years, less than 50% of patients can continue to work or function normally on a day to day basis. RA affects more than 21 million people worldwide.
This news content was configured by WebWire editorial staff. Linking is permitted.
News Release Distribution and Press Release Distribution Services Provided by WebWire.