Abbott (NYSE: ABT) and Neurocrine Biosciences, Inc. (Nasdaq: NBIX) today announced that they have entered into a collaboration agreement to develop and commercialize elagolix for the treatment of endometriosis-related pain. Elagolix is a novel, first-in-class oral gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) antagonist, which has recently completed a phase IIb study in endometriosis. In addition to endometriosis, elagolix will be evaluated for the treatment of uterine fibroids.
"Extensive preclinical and clinical experience with elagolix suggests this drug could be an important advance for women with endometriosis and uterine fibroids, highly prevalent conditions where there is a need for new treatments," said John Leonard, M.D., senior vice president, pharmaceuticals, research and development, Abbott. "This agreement enhances Abbott's late stage pipeline, with the potential for additional compounds in earlier stage development."
Under the terms of the agreement, Abbott will receive worldwide exclusive rights to develop and commercialize elagolix and all next-generation GnRH antagonists for women's and men's health. Abbott will make an upfront payment of $75 million and will fund all ongoing development activities. Neurocrine is eligible to receive additional milestone payments of approximately $500 million from Abbott for the achievement of certain development, regulatory and commercial milestones; funding for certain internal collaboration expenses; plus royalty payments on any future product sales.
"We are pleased to have one of the world's most admired companies as our partner in developing our entire GnRH portfolio for both women's and men's health indications," said Kevin Gorman, president and chief executive officer, Neurocrine Biosciences. "Abbott shares our long-term vision for elagolix, and, together, we look forward to bringing this important new treatment option to endometriosis and uterine fibroid sufferers."