Roche, Toyama collaborate on RA

Strengthening its rheumatoid arthritis (RA) portfolio, Roche

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NUTLEY, N.J.—Strengthening its rheumatoid arthritis (RA) portfolio, Roche announced it has entered into a licensing agreement with Toyama Chemical for worldwide research, development, and commercialization (excluding Japan) of the latter's novel oral RA agent T-5224, an inhibitor of transcription factor AP-1. According to Jean-Jacques Garaud, head of Roche Pharma Development, the compound, which is currently in Phase I studies, has "already shown promising pharmacological efficacy and safety in early clinical studies."
RA is just one component of a larger autoimmune disorder market that is expected to see significant growth over the next decade, according to a recent report by Frost & Sullivan, with estimates of almost $19 billion in Europe alone by 2013.
Toyama will receive upfront and milestone payments of up to $370 million for their part of the deal, and will also receive royalties on any sales of T-5224 by Roche. The deal also includes the joint R&D of back-up candidates to the drug.

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