Debiopharm licences potential Hepatitis C blockbuster to Novartis
Lausanne – Swiss Debiopharm Group has signed an exclusive licence agreement with Novartis for the development, manufacture and commercialisation of 1st oligopeptide Debio 025 (alisporivir). The first-in-class cyclophilin inhibitor, which is currently undergoing clinical proof-of-principal studies as treatment against Hepatitis C, will be marketed world-wide by Novartis with the exception of Japan. The upfront payment made for the drug is unknown, but Novartis said that Debiopharm will receive development and sales milestones as well as royalties. According to Debiopharm data, only 20% of the 170 million people who suffer from HCV, are currently treated adequately. Debio025 has some chemical features in common with cyclosporine A, but has none of its immunosuppressive effects. In phase I and IIa trials, Debiopharm stated that it showed a strong inhibitory effect on replication of 4 HCV subtypes as a monotherapy as well as in combination with peg-IFN-alpha-2a.