Teva Pharmaceutical Industries and Heptares Therapeutics, a wholly owned subsidiary of Sosei Group, have entered into a licensing and drug-discovery agreement under which Teva will receive exclusive global rights to develop, manufacture and commercialize novel, small-molecule calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) antagonists discovered by Heptares for the treatment of migraine headaches.
Heptares will receive an upfront payment of $10 million, research funding, and is eligible to receive additional research, development and commercialization milestone payments of up to $400 million. In addition, Heptares will be eligible to receive royalties on net sales of products resulting from the alliance.
Calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) is released during migraine attacks and can trigger migraine in patients. CGRP is found in small to medium-sized neurons in the trigeminal ganglion and mediates its activity through G protein-coupled receptors located throughout the body. Elevated levels of CGRP are found in migraineurs during an attack and blocking CGRP activity is a validated mechanism of action for relieving pain, and also for preventing migraine.
About 36 million people in the U.S. and 8 million people in Japan suffer from migraine, the common term for recurring attacks of moderate to severe headache pain. The International Headache Society defines “chronic migraine” as more than 15 headache days per month over a three-month period of which more than eight are migraines, in the absence of medication over use. Episodic migraine is the other migraine sub-type, which is defined as less than 15 headache days per month. During migraines, people can experience varying characteristics such as being very sensitive to light and sound and may also experience nausea and vomiting. There is no absolute cure for migraine, since its pathophysiology has yet to be fully understood.