Pharmaceutical Companies Partner in Plan to Develop Potential Celiac Treatment

February 10, 2011

Pharmaceutical Companies Partner in Plan to Develop Potential Celiac Treatment


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Global pharmaceutical company Cephalon Inc. has signed an agreement with Alba Therapeutics regarding a potential celiac disease drug.

Big news on the research front:

Biopharmaceutical companies Cephalon Inc. and Alba Therapeutics Corporation have signed an agreement providing Cephalon with an option to purchase all of Alba’s assets relating to larazotide acetate, a drug that could potentially treat celiac disease.

Under the terms of the option agreement, Cephalon will pay Alba a $7 million upfront option payment and will provide a credit facility to fund Alba’s Phase IIb clinical trial expenses for larazotide acetate. Based on the trial results, Cephalon could purchase Alba’s assets for $15 million, with additional payments for regulatory and sales milestones, according to the release.

Alba Therapeutics has been working with larazotide acetate for 6 years in hopes of developing a celiac treatment. The new partnership between Alba and Cephalon is a promising step in bringing potential treatments to the market, the release noted.

“We are encouraged by the data that we have evaluated,” said Kevin Buchi, Cephalon’s CEO, adding that, if the trial is successful, the drug may be added to the “pipeline” and become the first pharmaceutical treatment for celiac disease.

For more information, read the full press release.