Allergan, Assembly in microbiome gastrointestinal licensing deal

Allergan has made a deal to get Assembly Biosciences’s microbiome gastrointestinal (GI) development programs which will enable Allergane to use more compounds in researching stomach problems.

Namely, Allergan has gotten rights to certain preclinical compounds (ABI-M201 and ABI-M301) which are used for targeting ulcerative colitis (UC) and Chrohn’s disease (CD), and another two compounds for Irritable Bowel Syndromes (IBS), diarrhea, constipation or mixed.

This will cost Allergan 50 million, along with additional success-based milestone payments to Assembly, including tiered royalties based on net sales.

According to the agreement, Allergan and Assembly will generally share development costs through proof-of-concept (POC) studies, and Allergan will assume all post-POC development costs.

The Assembly microbiome program consists of a fully integrated platform that includes a robust strain identification and selection process, methods for strain isolation and growth under current Good Manufacturing Practices and a patent-pending delivery system, Gemicel, which allows for targeted oral delivery of live biologic and conventional therapies to the lower gastrointestinal tract.

“The Microbiome — the microbial populations that colonize the human body — is rapidly gaining prominence in numerous fields of research relevant to Allergan’s key areas of focus, including GI disorders,” said David Nicholson, Chief R&D Officer, Allergan.  “Assembly is well positioned to identify and select unique therapeutic candidates and deliver them to the optimal site in the GI tract through a novel oral delivery system.”

 Derek Small, Chief Executive Officer of Assembly, said: “Our fully-integrated microbiome platform reflects Assembly’s commitment as one of the leaders in the exciting new field of microbiome therapeutics, which has the potential to address a range of diseases in entirely new ways. We are delighted to enter into this collaboration with Allergan, an innovator in GI, as we work together to realize the potential of microbiome therapies and provide treatments to patients with serious GI disorders.”

The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of 2017.

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