AbbVie, Richter Unite to Target Complex Neuropsychiatric Conditions

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AbbVie, Richter Unite to Target Complex Neuropsychiatric Conditions

AbbVie and Gedeon Richter signed an agreement to co-develop and commercialize a potential treatment for a range of neuropsychiatric diseases.

The two companies will work closely to harness the abilities of dopamine receptor modulators to help patients living with complex neuropsychiatric conditions. The decision to collaborate was based on promising results from preclinical studies. Richter and AbbVie have been working on several projects concerning the central nervous system for the past 15 years, including the global launch of cariprazine (VRAYLAR / REAGILA), a prescription drug for adults diagnosed with schizophrenia, acute manic or mixed episodes with bipolar I disorder and bipolar depression.

“In collaboration with Richter, we will continue to build on our research that seeks to provide additional insights into our understanding of cariprazine’s clinical pharmacology and explore novel chemistry to identify new dopamine receptor modulators,” commented Tom Hudson, MD, the senior vice president for R&D and chief scientific officer at AbbVie, in a statement.

Under the terms of the deal, AbbVie will pay Richter an undisclosed cash payment upfront, plus cash from achieving regulatory and commercialization milestones and sales-based royalties. Preclinical and clinical research and development efforts will be financed by both companies. AbbVie will have global commercialization rights, except in areas where Richter has an established presence, such as Russia, Europe, CIS countries and Vietnam. Richter has a robust portfolio of products in various therapeutic areas, including CNS, cardiovascular and women’s health.

“I am very pleased to extend our existing co-operation under this new collaboration with AbbVie as it opens the way towards new products that could help alleviate the debilitating psychiatric and cognitive symptoms of many neuropsychiatric conditions, leading to an improved quality of life for patients suffering from these conditions around the world,” noted Gábor Orbán, the chief executive of Richter, in the same press release.

The transaction is set to be completed in the second quarter of 2022, depending on the typical regulatory approvals and other closing conditions.

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The news of the collaboration came just a few days after AbbVie announced positive results from its Phase III trial on a candidate oral drug for chronic migraine in adults. The Phase III PROGRESS trial evaluated a calcitonin gene-related peptide receptor antagonist called atogepant as a preventive treatment of chronic migraine.

In the 12-week treatment period, the drug was able to meet its primary endpoint of a statistically significant drop in mean monthly migraine days compared to those given a placebo. A total of 778 patients with a history of suffering from chronic migraine for at least one year participated in the study. Three treatment groups were created: one received 60mg of atogepant once a day, another received 30 mg of atogepant twice a day, and the third received a placebo.

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