UCB (Union Chimique Belge), a global biopharmaceutical company headquartered in Brussels, Belgium, announced on December 2nd that it has reached the agreement with Novartis for the global development and commercialization of UCB0599 and UCB7853. UCB focuses on the discovery and development of innovative therapeutics for the patients with disorders in the immune and central nervous systems.
The abnormal accumulation and misfolding of alpha-synuclein protein is the most important pathological hallmark of Parkinson’s disease (PD).
UCB0599 (also known as NPT-200-11) is a potential first-in-class, orally available, and BBB-penetrating small-molecule targeting misfolded alpha-synucleins in its phase 2 clinical trial for the treatment of PD. UCB0599 discovered at Neuropore Therapies was licensed to UCB in 2014. It interacts with the C-terminus of alpha-synuclein, thereby preventing its oligomerization and aggregation, reducing the neuroinflammation, and improving the motor deficits in the PD mice models.
In its phase 1a study with 31 patients at an early stage of PD, the drug did not bring about any safety issue. In December 2020, UCB initiated its 18-month placebo-controlled phase 2 study with 300 patients at an early stage of PD, which is expected to complete in July 2024.
UCB7853 is a monoclonal antibody against alpha-synuclein currently recruiting the participants for its phase 1 clinical study to develop a potential treatment for PD. In December 2020, UCB began its phase 1 study in healthy male and patients with PD, anticipated to complete in June 2023.
UCB0599 have the potential to slow down or stop the progression of PD. A complementing approach may be achieved by halting the extracellular spread of alpha-synuclein with UCB7853. UCB0599 and UCB7853 cooperatively represent a unique approach to target a key pathogenesis in PD.
“This partnership has the potential to be transformational for people living with PD, as it will combine UCB’s expertise as a leader in the field of neurodegenerative disease with Novartis’ global capabilities and deep experience developing transformative disease-modifying treatments for a range of neurological conditions,” said Dhaval Patel, Executive Vice President and Chief Scientific Officer at UCB. “It is a great example of our approach to the research and development in neurodegeneration, building external networks and partnerships to access additional capabilities and knowledge that help to accelerate the development of our medicines.” he added.
“It is our long-term ambition to transform the Parkinson’s treatment landscape from the management of symptoms to treatments that can slow down or stop the progression of disease. By sharing resources and working together we think we can best optimize our chances of success and realize our Parkinson’s ambitions.” Charl van Zyl, Executive Vice President, Neurology & Head of Europe/International Markets commented.
Under the terms of the agreement, the parties will develop and fund the further global development of UCB0599 together. Novartis also has the right to “opt-in” to take part in the global co-development of UCB7853 upon the completion of phase 1 study which is currently ongoing by UCB.
UCB will get an upfront payment of US$150 million and is eligible to receive further potential payments with a total consideration about US$1.5 billion. The commercial responsibilities will be divided, with UCB being the marketing authorization holder and commercial lead in the Europe and Japan, and Novartis in the U.S. and all other remaining territories.
UCB Announces Global Partnership to Bring Disease-Modifying Therapies to People Living with Parkinson’s Disease