Viatris, Idorsia Ink $350M R&D Pact for Two Phase III Assets

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Pictured: Two business professionals in suits shaking hands/iStock, fizkes

Swiss pharma Idorsia has secured a much-needed financial lifeline from U.S.-based Viatris with a $350 million upfront payment for the worldwide development and commercialization rights to two late-stage candidates.

The two Phase III assets are selatogrel, a P2Y12 inhibitor being developed to treat acute myocardial infarction, and cenerimod, designed to treat lupus. As part of the deal, a joint development committee will oversee the development of the programs for cenerimod and selatogrel to go through the regulatory process.

Just weeks from the end of its cash runway, Idorsia CFO Andre Muller said that the $350 million upfront payment gives the company “much needed” liquidity.

“We’ve repeatedly explained that we have many balls in the air, we’ve now caught the first one and continue to work on others to secure Idorsia’s future. We are working on several funding options, including business development opportunities, equity, and equity-linked deals to significantly extend our cash runway,” Muller said. 

The deal is expected to close by the end of March.

Under the agreement, Idorsia will commit $200 million over the next three years and transfer the personnel for both programs to Viatris at closing. In addition to the upfront payment, Idorsia will also get possible development and regulatory milestone payments, sales milestones and tiered royalties on annual net sales.

Viatris will get the worldwide commercialization rights for selatogrel and cenerimod, except for cenerimod’s rights in South Korea, Japan and certain other nations in the Asia-Pacific region. Idorsia has also given Viatris a right of first refusal and first negotiation for other assets in its pipeline. Idorsia has assets to treat a wide range of diseases, such as type 1 diabetes, multiple sclerosis, immune-mediated disorders and Fabry disease, among others.

“We are connecting Idorsia’s proven, highly productive drug development team and innovation engine with Viatris’ strong global infrastructure and experience to focus on two late-stage potential blockbuster assets with long-dated patent protection,” Viatris CEO Scott Smith said in a statement. “I believe that together we will be able to execute on the potential of these global assets and any future assets as we work to deliver on our goal of building a more durable, predictable portfolio on the foundation of our strong base business, and that selatogrel and cenerimod can become meaningful components of Viatris’ business over the long term.”

Viatris’ latest product to get FDA approval was the phentolamine ophthalmic solution Ryzumvi, which was approved in September 2023. The drug was developed with Ocuphire to reverse pharmacologically induced mydriasis. 

Tyler Patchen is a staff writer at BioSpace. You can reach him at tyler.patchen@biospace.com. Follow him on LinkedIn.

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