Roche and Toyama Chemical Co. have entered into a licensing agreement for the research, development and commercialization of Toyama's oral rheumatoid arthritis agent T-5224. By inhibiting a specific inflammatory process, T-5224 has the potential to block signs and symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis and the progressive destruction of joint and bone. The compound is currently in Phase I.
Under the terms of the agreement, Roche has been granted exclusive rights to research, develop, and market T-5224 worldwide excluding Japan where Toyama Chemical will retain exclusive rights. The agreement also includes the joint R&D of back-up candidates to T-5224. Toyama Chemical will receive upfront payments and milestone payments totaling as much as $370 million, based on certain development and commercial milestones. If approved, Toyama Chemical will receive royalties on sales of T-5224.
"This novel oral compound complements Roche's developing portfolio of drug candidates in inflammation and rheumatoid arthritis. The agent T-5224 has the potential to inhibit a key trigger of rheumatoid arthritis and has already shown promising pharmacological efficacy and safety in early clinical studies," said Jean-Jacques Garaud, head of Roche Pharma Development. "Our new collaboration is good news for all patients with rheumatoid arthritis as well as for our two companies. We are looking forward to collaborating with our new colleagues in Japan to develop T-5224."
"By entering into a R&D collaboration with Roche, one of the world's leading R&D companies, we are able to increase Toyama's potential for novel drug development in the anti-inflammatory field, which is a field of concentration for Toyama Chemical," said Masuji Sugata, president of Toyama Chemical.