PPD, Inc. (Nasdaq: PPDI) today announced it has entered an agreement with Janssen Pharmaceutica N.V. to develop and commercialize two Phase II-ready therapeutic compounds, one to treat diarrhea-predominant irritable bowel syndrome (IBS-d) and the other to treat complicated skin and skin structure and respiratory infections.
Under two agreements, PPD in-licensed the two assets and will advance the compounds through Phase II development. At the completion of Phase II, Janssen will have the option to resume development and commercialization of each compound. In exchange, PPD will receive up to $330 million USD in clinical and sales milestones and royalties on sales of the compounds if approved for marketing. If Janssen does not buy back a program, PPD will have the option to continue developing and commercializing the compound for that program; and Janssen will receive up to $250 million USD in clinical and sales milestones and royalties on sales of the compounds if approved for marketing.
"Our agreements with Janssen diversify and strengthen our compound partnering portfolio and may gain us entry into two large markets,” said Fred Eshelman, executive chairman of PPD. “The IBS-d market holds significant drug development potential because of the lack of approved products for this indication, and new antibiotics are needed to address increasing incidences of resistant strain bacterial infections.”
The IBS-d compound is a potential first-in-class locally active mu opioid receptor agonist and delta opioid receptor antagonist. According to a market report in Nature Reviews Drug Discovery (February 2006), IBS-d affects approximately 29 million Americans age 15 and older.
The anti-bacterial compound is a broad-spectrum fluoroquinolone potential antibiotic with activity against gram positive and gram negative bacteria and methicillin-resistant staph aureus (MRSA). It is being developed as both an oral and intravenous therapy to treat skin and respiratory infections. Bacterial infections are a major cause of morbidity and mortality, and antibiotic resistant infections have become a growing public health concern. More than 14 million ambulatory physician visits each year are related to skin and soft-tissue infections, and approximately 94,000 Americans developed serious MRSA infections in 2005, according to a recent study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.