Teva and MODAG Tie Up on Potential Parkinson's, MSA Treatment

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Teva Pharmaceutical Industries inked a deal with MODAG GmbH to license and develop two of MODAG’s compounds in neurodegenerative disease. The two compounds are anle138b and sery433.

Anle138b targets pathological alpha-synuclein oligomers. It is being studied for neurodegenerative diseases. Teva picked up an exclusive license to develop, manufacture and commercialize anle138b and sery433, which will be targeting multiple system atrophy (MSA) and Parkinson’s disease (PD). Anle138b was studied in a Phase I trial in July 2020, and demonstrated a good benefit-risk profile at all doses. Although initially developed for MSA and PD, the companies believe it may offer value in other neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s. 

A Phase Ib trial in PD is currently being run. It was initiated in December 2020 by Quotient Sciences in Nottingham, UK. The trial is supported by a grant from The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research worth $1.4 million.

At the time, Armin Giese, chief science officer of MODAG, said, “Anle138b is a small molecule capable of binding to alpha-synuclein’s toxic oligomeric structures and thereby blocking disease-progression. The recently completed Phase I study confirmed excellent safety and tolerability of anle138b in healthy human volunteers. From initially developing this molecule I am very excited to see it reach patients so rapidly with this first study in Parkinson’s disease.”

MSA is a rare neurodegenerative disease classified as “atypical parkinsonism” and is part of a group of disorders called synucleinopathies. It is marked histopathologically by abnormal deposits of the alpha-synuclein protein, primarily in oligodendroglial cells and in certain nerve cells.

“With Teva’s strong foundation in neuroscience and our in-house expertise in neurology and psychiatry, this licensing and collaboration agreement adds a promising new compound to our early-stage pipeline as a possible orphan disease treatment for the growing patient population living with multiple system atrophy, as well as a potential option for patients living with Parkinson’s disease,” said Hafrun Fridriksdottir, executive vice president, Global R&D at Teva. “We at Teva are excited about collaborating with the MODAG team and look forward to future developments as we continue to follow the science and explore additional indications for both partnered compounds.”

Teva also reported its third-quarter financials today. Revenues for the quarter were $3.887 billion, a drop of 2% compared to the same period in 2020. The decrease was primarily due to lower earnings in North America, mainly Copaxone and generic drugs, but it was partially offset by higher sales from generic and over-the-counter products in Europe, specifically Ajovy and Austedo. They note that revenues are still affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Gross profit was $1.794 billion for the quarter, a drop of 3% compared to the same period last year. GAAP gross profit margin was 46.2% for the quarter compared to 46.6% last year. GAAP research-and-development expenses for the quarter were $222 million, a decrease of 14% compared to third-quarter 2020.

Of today’s collaboration deal, Torsten Matthias, chief executive officer of MODAG, said, “We are pleased to partner and work alongside Teva, an organization that has longstanding, extensive expertise in the development of therapeutics. In addition to the previous support we have received from the Michael J. Fox Foundation and the Cure Parkinson’s Trust, this partnership further underscores the heightened potential of our lead candidate to do what no drug is currently capable of: blocking the progression of synucleinopathies. Building upon our notable preliminary results, we look forward to the continued development of anle138b alongside Teva to help patients living with currently untreatable neurodegenerative diseases, including MSA, PD and Alzheimer’s disease.”

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