Baxter, Chatham partner on hemophilia treatments

Baxter pays $25 million upfront, additional potential milestones to follow

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DEERFIELD, Ill.—Baxter International Inc. has announced anew partnership this week, entering into an exclusive global agreement withChatham Therapeutics, LLC, an affiliate of Asklepios BioPharmaceutical, Inc.The agreement is centered on the development and commercialization of potentialhemophilia B treatments using Chatham's gene therapy technology.
"This agreement initiates a clinical developmentcollaboration dedicated to advancing a potential long-term treatment paradigmfor hemophilia patients. We look forward to working with Baxter and view thistransaction as the optimal path toward providing a sustainable therapeutic to aworldwide patient population," Jade Samulski, vice president at AsklepiosBioPharmaceutical, Inc. and co-founder of Chatham Therapeutics, in a pressrelease.
Under the terms of the agreement, Baxter paid ChathamTherapeutics $25 million upfront in cash for the development and advancement ofthe program through early clinical trials, and if certain developmental andcommercial milestones are met, Baxter may also make additional milestonepayments over the next several years.
As a result of the collaboration, Baxter will be able toinvestigate Chatham Therapeutics' Biological Nan Particles (BNP), the company'sadvanced recombinant adeno-associated virus-(rAAV) based gene therapy, whichhas shown potential therapeutic benefit in early clinical studies. Theagreement between the two companies will involved the next generation of theBNP therapy technology, with Baxter and Chatham Therapeutics will investigatethrough U.S.-based hemophilia B clinical trials. In addition, Baxter gainsglobal rights to market and commercialize the new treatment.
"This collaboration demonstrates Baxter's ongoingcommitment to scientific innovation in advancing treatment options for patientsliving with hemophilia. This initiative complements Baxter's extensivehemophilia portfolio and helps to address unmet needs of hemophiliapatients," Ludwig Hantson, Ph.D., president of Baxter's BioScience business,said in a press release about the deal.
Hemophilia B is the second most common type of hemophilia,and results from an insufficient amount of clotting factor IX, a naturallyoccurring protein found in blood that helps to control bleeding. The conditionappears in about one in 25,000 males, and approximately 4,000 people in theUnited States are currently diagnosed with hemophilia B. The disease is oftendebilitating and chronic, with complications such as bleeding episodes,hemophilic arthropathy (bleeding into a joint) and hospitalization. 
The collaboration with Chatham Therapeutics is one ofseveral avenues of research for Baxter in terms of hemophilia, as the companyis also conducting a Phase I/III clinical trial for its own drug candidate,BAX326. BAX326 is a recombinant Factor IX being tested as a potential treatmentfor hemophilia B, and Baxter expects to file for U.S. approval of the compoundby the end of this year.
In addition, Baxter announced on May 16 that is hadsuccessfully gained approval for ADVATE (Recombinant Human Coagulation FactorVIII for injection) for the control and prophylaxis of bleeding episodes inhemophilia A patients in China by the State Food and Drug Administration.Current estimates place the number of people in China stricken with hemophiliaA at more than 50,000. Baxter has an ongoing presence in the Chinese hemophiliacommunity, having worked with the Ministry of Health in 2010 to set up a"Hemophilia Disease Management System," the first nationwide patientregistration and management system in China that also integrated diagnosis andtreatment information.
SOURCE: Baxter press release

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