· Over $24M in initial and milestone-based payments
BEVERLY, MA – July 22, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) Innovation Pharmaceuticals (OTCQB:IPIX) (“the Company”), a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company, is pleased to report that the Company has executed a license agreement with Alfasigma S.p.A (“Alfasigma”) to develop and commercialize locally-administered Brilacidin (e.g., foam, enema, gel), on a worldwide basis, for the treatment of Ulcerative Proctitis/Ulcerative Proctosigmoiditis (UP/UPS).
The Company will receive from Alfasigma an initial payment, plus be eligible for additional payments based on certain milestones, totaling over $24 million, and receive a 6 percent royalty (net sales) based on the successful marketing of Brilacidin for UP/UPS. The agreement also includes a Right of First Refusal for Brilacidin for the treatment of more extensive forms of Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD), such as Ulcerative Colitis and Crohn’s Disease, and a Right of First Negotiation for Brilacidin in other Gastrointestinal indications.
“This licensing agreement with Alfasigma is a major milestone for the Company,” commented Arthur P. Bertolino, MD, PhD, MBA, President and Chief Medical Officer at Innovation Pharmaceuticals. “Alfasigma is a first-class global pharmaceutical company with proven IBD expertise, marketing products like Xifaxan for Irritable Bowel Syndrome, which makes them an attractive partner to advance Brilacidin in UP/UPS. We are confident that Brilacidin for UP/UPS is in good hands, as Alfasigma works to potentially commercialize the drug. At the same time, we’re excited to be underway with our own Brilacidin oral formulation efforts to treat more extensive forms of IBD. We currently are utilizing sophisticated, controlled-release tablet technology to enable targeted delivery of oral Brilacidin in the colon, with in-human testing anticipated to start as soon as year-end. Millions of patients continue to suffer from hard-to-treat GI diseases, with recent deal-making in the pharmaceutical industry revealing significant premiums being paid for promising oral IBD drugs. As such, we are committed to advancing Brilacidin across multiple IBD indications, and also in other key franchise therapeutic areas, like our Phase 3-ready oral rinse Brilacidin program in Oral Mucositis.”
“We are thrilled to forge this partnership with Innovation Pharmaceuticals,” said Pier Vincenzo Colli, Chief Executive Officer at Alfasigma. “The Phase 2 Brilacidin clinical study results in UP/UPS look promising and reflective of Brilacidin’s unique drug properties and treatment potential. Alfasigma plans to dedicate considerable internal resources, including formulation and IP expertise, and to make a substantial investment to advance Brilacidin, with the objective to offer patients a safe and effective new treatment option in the management of UP/UPS. We will also closely follow Innovation’s progress in developing oral Brilacidin, as we remain highly interested in novel oral IBD treatments. This agreement is a further step in strengthening our pipeline.”
About Brilacidin for IBD
Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) is a hard-to-treat, chronic, autoimmune condition that affects approximately 10 million people worldwide, including 3 million people in the U.S., with 70,000 newly diagnosed cases each year. The overall GI market sector is estimated to grow from $35.7 billion in 2015 to $48.4 billion by 2022. Brilacidin is being developed as a novel, non-corticosteroid, non-biologic treatment, with formulation plans including oral tablets for Ulcerative Colitis and Crohn’s Disease, and enema, foam and/or gel for mild-to-moderate Ulcerative Proctitis/Ulcerative Proctosigmoiditis (UP/UPS), two types of IBD. As released previously, a majority of patients treated with Brilacidin administered via retention enema achieved Clinical Remission (Modified Mayo scoring) in a Phase 2, open-label, Proof-of-Concept (PoC) clinical trial evaluating Brilacidin for UP/UPS. In addition, mucosal healing was evidenced by endoscopic review, an increasingly important measure toward establishing a drug’s efficacy. In late 2018, the Company presented a scientific poster—Brilacidin for Inflammatory Bowel Disease (available for download here, pdf)—at the inaugural “IBD Innovate 2018” conference, hosted by the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation. Brilacidin may be particularly beneficial in treating IBD due to: 1) its ability to inhibit Phosphodiesterase 4 (PDE4), which is being pursued as a novel therapeutic avenue in IBD; and 2) its potential to compensate for defensin deficiencies that are implicated in the pathogenesis of IBD.
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Alfasigma is a privately-owned, Italy-based integrated multinational pharmaceutical company with 2018 revenues in excess of €1 billion, 5 manufacturing plants, R&D facilities, and 3,000 employees globally. Outside of its core Italian market, Alfasigma has 16 subsidiaries in Europe, Asia, North and Central America and Africa, and is present in more than 90 countries. More than 44% of Alfasigma turnover comes from internally developed proprietary products, one of which is XIFAXAN. More information is available at the Alfasigma website at: http://www.alfasigma.com/en