Actelion Ltd and GlaxoSmithKline announced today that they have entered into an exclusive worldwide collaboration (excluding Japan) for Actelion’s almorexant, an orexin receptor antagonist in phase III development with first-in-class potential as a treatment for primary insomnia.
Under the terms of the agreement, GSK will receive exclusive worldwide rights to co-develop and co-commercialise almorexant.
Actelion will continue to lead the ongoing development programme and potential registration for almorexant in the first indication, primary insomnia, with GSK contributing 40%. Almorexant will also be studied in other orexin-related disorders and all costs related to these programmes will be shared equally.
Actelion will receive an upfront payment of CHF 150 million (approximately GBP 66 million) and will be eligible for additional potential milestone payments of up to CHF 415 million in regards to the successful development and approval of almorexant in primary insomnia.
In addition, Actelion will be eligible to receive additional milestone payments, pending successful development of two other major indications for almorexant yet to be evaluated through clinical investigation. If all three indications were successfully registered, approved and commercialised, and exceptional sales targets met for all these indications, Actelion would be eligible to receive additional potential milestone payments of up to CHF 2.735 billion. Also, costs and profits resulting from this collaboration will be shared equally between the two companies.
Dr Moncef Slaoui, Chairman of Research and Development, GSK, said: “GSK and Actelion both share the vision – based on our individual research efforts – that orexin receptor antagonists have tremendous potential. By targeting orexin, which is known to help regulate the sleep-wake cycle, these novel molecules could help to reduce or even eliminate some of the side-effects associated with current sleep treatments.”
Jean-Paul Clozel, MD and Chief Executive Officer of Actelion said: “Almorexant has the potential to fundamentally change the treatment of sleep disorders. GSK, with its strong track record of successful worldwide commercialisation, is the ideal partner to work with Actelion to rapidly bring this novel medicine – with the potential to restore normal physiological sleep – to insomnia patients all around the globe. In addition, this alliance allows Actelion and GSK to create significant additional value by rapidly expanding clinical development of almorexant beyond primary insomnia.”