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Trevena, Forest Labs to develop TRV027 for acute heart failure

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Trevena, a clinical stage pharmaceutical company focused on G-protein coupled receptor (GPCR) biased ligands, and Forest Laboratories, a global pharmaceutical company, have entered into a collaborative licensing option agreement for the development of TRV027, an AT1R biased-ligand that recently completed phase IIa clinical trials. Trevena expects to commence a 500-patient multi-center phase IIb clinical trial in acute decompensated heart failure (ADHF) by year end.

The agreement includes a $30 million equity investment by Forest in Trevena and the grant by Trevena to Forest of an option to exclusively license TRV027 on a worldwide basis following completion of the planned phase IIb clinical trial which will be funded by Trevena.  The parties will establish a joint development committee to oversee the development of TRV027 with Trevena retaining operational authority during the option period. Following the exercise of the option, Forest will make payments of up to $430 million, depending upon the achievement of future development and commercial milestones, plus royalties, and will have responsibility for the development and commercialization of the product.

“We are excited to enter into this collaboration with Trevena, a leader in the ground breaking science of GPCR biased ligands,” said David Solomon, senior vice president of corporate development and strategic planning, Forest. “TRV027 represents an important opportunity for Forest to build on our presence in the cardiovascular market and the hospital segment. ADHF is the fourth leading cause of hospitalizations in the U.S. and there has been no material change in the standard of care for patients with ADHF for decades. TRV027 has the potential to be a significant new advance in the treatment of ADHF because it addresses the underlying pathophysiology of the disease which has been demonstrated in pre-clinical and early clinical work by Trevena.”

Maxine Gowen, president and CEO of Trevena, said, “Forest Labs brings a wealth of drug development and commercialization experience to the TRV027 program. This collaboration provides us with an opportunity to maximize the potential of this promising compound, and further validates our biased ligand approach to GPCR drug discovery.”

Forest Labs will lead Trevena’s $60 million Series C financing round with a $30 million investment.  An executive of Forest Laboratories will also join Trevena’s board of directors. Existing investors also participating in the round are Alta Partners, Healthcare Ventures, NEA, Polaris and Yasuda Enterprise Development Company.

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