Biotechnology company Amgen and privately-run French research-based pharmaceutical company Servier have entered a collaboration agreement leveraging each company's commitment to cardiovascular disease.
Amgen has obtained commercial rights in the U.S. to Servier's novel oral drug, approved in the E.U. as Procoralan (ivabradine), for chronic heart failure and stable angina in patients with elevated heart rates. Amgen has also received an exclusive option to develop and commercialize Servier's investigational molecule, S38844, for cardiovascular diseases in the U.S. Currently, S38844 is in phase II studies for the treatment of heart failure. Servier has obtained rights to commercialize omecamtiv mecarbil in Europe. Omecamtiv mecarbil is an activator of cardiac myosin, currently being tested for potential applications in the treatment of heart failure in patients with systolic dysfunction.
Both companies can exercise their respective options for the investigational therapies up to completion of certain phase II studies. Amgen will make a one-time $50 million upfront payment and future milestone and royalty payments for ivabradine.
"A critical unmet medical need remains for patients who don't respond adequately to current available therapies for heart failure and angina. Ivabradine, an If inhibitor, offers a novel alternative approach for patients with elevated heart rates,” said Sean E. Harper, M.D., executive vice president of R&D at Amgen.
Ivabradine is an If inhibitor approved by the EMA in 2005 for the symptomatic treatment of stable angina and in 2012 for chronic heart failure, as well as approved in more than 100 other countries, excluding the U.S. Omecamtiv mecarbil activates cardiac muscle contractility and operates to strengthen heart function in patients with systolic dysfunction. Omecamtiv mecarbil is in phase II studies and is being developed under a collaboration between Cytokinetics and Amgen.