LEO Pharma, a global pharmaceutical company specializing in dermatology, has entered into an exclusive research and license agreement with the German biotech company 4SC Discovery with the primary aim of jointly researching, developing and commercializing an oral treatment for inflammatory skin diseases such as psoriasis.
The collaboration has the potential to result in a novel and convenient breakthrough therapy for chronic skin conditions. The innovative compound, currently in the early development state, has already been proven in preclinical models to significantly reduce if not entirely eradicate symptoms of psoriasis.
LEO Pharma will issue an upfront payment of $1.3 million to 4SC Discovery and additional funding for R&D. LEO Pharma will receive an exclusive option to license the worldwide marketing and commercialization rights of the compound for use in inflammatory skin diseases, including psoriasis and other therapeutic areas. Upon LEO Pharma exercising the option, 4SC Discovery will be eligible for a milestone payment of up to $3.9 million and further payments upon achieving specific development milestones of up to $120 million as well as up to double-digit royalties.
"LEO Pharma is excited about the agreement with 4SC and the possibilities it offers patients. The compound has the potential to completely eradicate symptoms of psoriasis, liberating people from the burden of this chronic skin disease,” said Kim Kjoeller, senior vice president, global development, LEO Pharma.
For 4SC Discovery, the deal marks a key early-stage partnering deal with one of the company's compounds from its research engine.
"We are delighted to have won LEO Pharma, a global leader in skin diseases, as an ideal research and license partner for our highly innovative compound, which is based on the modulation of cytokines,” said Dr. Daniel Vitt, managing director of 4SC Discovery and chief scientific officer at 4SC. “Our goal is now to speed up and jointly develop a novel breakthrough therapy addressing the high medical need in chronic inflammatory skin diseases such as psoriasis."