Teijin Pharma has entered into a collaborative agreement with Amgen to discover, develop and commercialize small molecule drugs that target RORγ. The agreement grants Amgen an option to obtain a worldwide (excluding Japan) exclusive license to compounds discovered in the joint research collaboration, while Teijin Pharma will hold exclusive rights in Japan. Teijin Pharma will also have the right to co-promote potential products in select Asian markets.
Teijin and Amgen will work together to identify candidates that modulate the activity of RORγ, an emerging and promising target for autoimmune disease drug development. RORγ is a key driver of differentiation and regulation of Th17 cells, which play a pivotal role in inflammation and are broadly implicated in autoimmune diseases.
“As we pursue R&D to discover new treatments for autoimmune diseases,” said Hiroshi Uno, president of Teijin Pharma, “the collaboration with Amgen is expected to provide us with a potential breakthrough in the discovery of new therapeutic compounds in this field and then maximize their value.”
Autoimmune diseases arise when the body’s immune system mistakenly identifies its own healthy tissues or cells as foreign and attacks them. The best known of these diseases include rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis and multiple sclerosis. The number of patients is increasing worldwide and while treatments exist, there is an increasing demand for new treatment options that provide superior efficacy, safety and convenience.