Biotest shares up 24% after global marketing deal for potential blockbuster immunomodulator
Dreieich – German Biotest AG has bagged US$85 million upfront and options on further US$395 milestone payments plus royalties on sales from Abbott Laboratories in a co-marketing deal for Biotest’s immunomodulator BT-061 that targets the CD4 receptor on T regulatory cells (Tregs). In a phase II trial, the humanised antibody (50 mg subcutanously over 8 weeks) which activates Tregs, led to a ACR 50 in 26% of patients with moderate to severe Rheumatoid Arthritis. Furthermore, the immune system silencer showed signs of efficacy in a Phase I dose escalation trial (0.5-25 mg subcutanously) in patients with moderate psoriasis. BT-061, which unlike other anti-CD4 antibodies does not cause depletion of CD4 positive T-cells that would give rise to weakened immune responses, has upside indications in multiple sclerosis, allergies, type 1 diabetes, inflammatory bowel disease and systemic lupus erythematosus for which it is in preclinical development. Biotest’s shares were 24% up after announcement of the deal. Under the terms of the agreement Biotest and Abbott will co-market BT-061 in the five major European markets Germany, France, Italy, Spain and the UK. For all other pharma markets, Abbott will have exclusive marketing rights. Biotest will be responsible for manufacturing the initial clinical supply of BT-061 and the companies will share responsibility for commercial production.