Baxter International, a global, diversified healthcare company, has entered into an exclusive global agreement with Chatham Therapeutics, a private clinical development-stage biotech, for the development and commercialization of potential treatments for hemophilia B utilizing Chatham's gene therapy technology.
The collaboration will allow Baxter to investigate Chatham's Biological Nano Particles (BNP), gene therapy technology based on an advanced recombinant adeno-associated virus(rAAV) that has shown potential therapeutic benefit in early clinical studies. This agreement will involve the next generation of this gene therapy technology, which Baxter and Chatham will investigate through U.S.-based hemophilia B clinical trials. Baxter has obtained global rights for the marketing and commercialization of the new treatment.
Baxter made a $25 million upfront cash payment for the development and advancement of the program through early clinical trials, and will record this amount as a special pre-tax in-process R&D charge in the second quarter of 2012. Baxter may make additional payments over the next several years based on certain development and commercial milestones.
"This initiative complements Baxter's extensive hemophilia portfolio and helps to address unmet needs of hemophilia patients," said Ludwig Hantson, Ph.D., president of Baxter's BioScience business.
Hemophilia B, the second most common type of hemophilia, occurs in about one in 25,000 males, with approximately 4,000 people in the U.S. currently diagnosed with the disease. Hemophilia B is often a debilitating, chronic disease with complications that include bleeding episodes, hemophilic arthropathy (bleeding into a joint) and hospitalization.
Baxter is pursuing a number of research opportunities in hemophilia. The company is conducting a phase I/III clinical trial of BAX326, a recombinant Factor IX being evaluated for the treatment of patients with hemophilia B, and expects to file for U.S. approval by the end of 2012.