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Former Allergan (AGN) Exec Who Now Helms Chase Pharma Inks $1 Billion Pact With Brent Saunders and His New Gang

11/22/2016 2:59:24 PM

Former Allergan Exec Who Now Helms Chase Pharma Inks $1 Billion Pact With Brent Saunders and His New Gang November 23, 2016
By Alex Keown, Breaking News Staff

DUBLIN – Allergan (AGN)’s $1 billion deal to acquire Chase Pharmaceuticals and expand its central nervous system (CNS) portfolio has reunited a former Allergan executive with his former colleagues.

Doug Ingram, the former president of Allergan, was tapped to helm in December 2015. Ingram, said in a statement today that he was excited Allergan saw the potential in CPC-201 and looks forward to Allergan carrying out the clinical programs.

Allergan struck a deal with Irvine, Calif.-based Chase Pharmaceuticals for $125 million in an upfront payment combined with additional regulatory and sales milestones that could amount to about $1 billion. Allergan’s interest in Chase centers on its lead compound, CPC-201, for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease. David Nicholson, Allergan’s chief research and development officer, said the addition of CPC-201 “adds a new Phase III ready program for Alzheimer’s disease” to the company’s broad CNS portfolio.

"Alzheimer's disease is a neurodegenerative disease that represents a major and growing global public health problem, for which very few approved treatment options are available, and the societal cost is measured in hundreds of billions of dollars, so the need for improved treatment choices is paramount," Nicholson said in a statement.
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It is estimated that more than 45 million people worldwide have a form of dementia, with Alzheimer’s making up between 60 and 70 percent of the cases. The number of dementia cases worldwide is expected to more than double by 2050, Allergan said this morning. There are currently no drugs that target the cause of Alzheimer’s, the most common form of dementia. There are several drugs on the market that help manage Alzheimer’s, but none treat the primary cause, including Eisai’s Aracept. While a primary cause has yet to be determined, many drug companies have looked to amyloid plaque as a potential candidate. This morning, however, Eli Lilly revealed its late stage Alzheimer’s drug that targeted Amyloid plaque failed.

Chase’s CPC-¬201 is a patent-protected combination of the most commonly prescribed acetylcholinesterase inhibitor (AChEI), donepezil, and the peripherally acting cholinergic blocker, solifenacin. AChEIs have been shown to improve cognition in Alzheimer's disease patients. Currently approved AChEIs are only modestly effective due to dose-limiting side effects, including diarrhea, nausea and vomiting, the company said.

Phase II trials of CPC-201 demonstrated high tolerability, about 88 percent, among patients at 40 mg. The company recently met with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration about results. The trial will be moved forward into Phase III under Allergan. The new trial is expected to begin in 2017.

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