Takeda to acquire exclusive license to develop Natrogen's Natura-alpha compound
Published on December 20, 2013 at 1:13 AM
Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited ("Takeda") and Natrogen Therapeutics International, Inc. ("Natrogen") jointly announced today an agreement whereby Takeda will acquire an exclusive license to develop Natrogen's Natura-alpha compound as well as an option to acquire Natrogen. Natura-alpha is a synthetic small molecule oral compound that is believed to inhibit pro-inflammatory cytokine expression, which may help to reduce gastrointestinal inflammation. Natura-alpha is currently in Phase 2 development for the treatment of ulcerative colitis (UC).
"Today's announcement reinforces Takeda's continued commitment toward addressing the needs of patients with gastrointestinal diseases," said Asit Parikh, M.D., Ph.D., vice president, general medicine, Takeda. "Natura-alpha is a strategic fit with our gastrointestinal portfolio, which also includes vedolizumab, Takeda's investigational monoclonal antibody for the treatment of adults with moderately to severely active UC and Crohn's disease."
The principal activity of Natrogen Therapeutics International has been to develop Natura-alpha, a small molecule oral compound that has been the subject of a Phase 2 Clinical Trial exploring efficacy and safety in patients with ulcerative colitis.
"Natrogen's strategy has been to demonstrate the drug's efficacy and safety in clinical trials and then identify a major pharmaceutical company that has the expertise, commitment and financial resources to complete the regulatory process and bring the drug to market. We found the perfect partner, Takeda, a major research-based company that has a global presence in the area of gastrointestinal disease," said Louis Wang, M.D., president and chief scientist.
Under the terms of the agreement, Natrogen grants Takeda an exclusive license for worldwide development of Natura-alpha in all indications, and an option to acquire Natrogen. In return, Natrogen will receive an up-front payment and potential future payments upon the exercise of Takeda's option to acquire Natrogen, including a payment upon closing of the option to acquire Natrogen and potential post-closing contingent payments upon achievement of certain regulatory and sales milestones. Takeda will fund and execute all additional clinical development.
Leerink Swann LLC served as the exclusive financial advisor and Covington & Burling LLP served as the legal advisor for the transaction for Natrogen. Ropes & Gray LLP served as legal advisor for the transaction for Takeda.
Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited