WORLD – Biogen and Innocare, a biopharmaceutical company rooted in China, have signed a license and a collaboration agreement for the use of Orelabrutinib that could potentially be used to treat multiple sclerosis.
Under the terms of the agreement, Biogen will have exclusive rights to orelabrutinib in the field of MS worldwide and certain autoimmune diseases outside of China, while Innocare will retain exclusive worldwide rights to orelabrutinib in the field of oncology and certain autoimmune diseases in China.
InnoCare will receive a US$125M upfront payment and is eligible to receive up to US$812.5M in potential development milestones and potential commercial payments should the collaboration achieve certain development, commercial milestones and sales thresholds.
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a condition that can affect the brain and spinal cord, causing a wide range of potential symptoms, including problems with vision, arm or leg movement, sensation or balance.
It’s a lifelong condition that can sometimes cause serious disability, although it can occasionally be mild. In many cases, it’s possible to treat symptoms. Average life expectancy is slightly reduced for people with MS.
It’s most commonly diagnosed in people in their 20s and 30s, although it can develop at any age and is about 2 to 3 times more common in women than men.
MS is one of the most common causes of disability in younger adults is classified into two progressive stages that are the relapsing remitting MS and primary progressive MS.
According to National Health Services, more than 8 out of every 10 people with MS are diagnosed with the relapsing remitting type. Someone with relapsing remitting MS will have episodes of new or worsening symptoms, known as relapses.
For primary progressive MS, symptoms gradually worsen and accumulate over several years, and there are no periods of remission, though people often have periods where their condition appears to stabilize.
The autoimmune condition currently has no cure though a number of therapies that treat the symptoms are available in the market.
Treatment of MS is dependent on the symptoms presented by the condition with steroid medicines mostly used to treat relapses.
Orelabrutinib is a small molecule Bruton’s tyrosine kinase inhibitor (BTKi) developed for the treatment of cancer and in development for the potential treatment of autoimmune diseases.
In the field of multiple sclerosis, orelabrutinib is a BTKi with high selectivity and ability to cross the blood-brain barrier and could achieve high-target occupancy in the central nervous system. It is currently being investigated in a global Phase 2 study in RRMS patients.
Orelabrutinib has also shown a favorable safety and robust efficacy profile, and was found to be able to cross the blood-brain barrier — the semi-permeable membrane that separates the brain from the rest of the blood circulating in the body — and reach the brain.