AbbVie beefs up the immunology pipeline, betting up to $865M on a PhII-ready drug — and fueling a biotech stock frenzy
AbbVie’s immunology team is tossing $60 million into the pot being wagered on the lead drug at Mitch Gold’s latest venture.
The Dendreon founder helped make history in immuno-oncology, though not the big money once forecast for Provenge, and set his sights on glory with Seattle-based Alpine Immune Sciences.
Now AbbVie has acquired an option and license deal for ALPN-101, which targets the dual pathways of CD28 and ICOS. In addition to the upfront cash, there’s $75 million reserved for pre-option development milestones, $75 million for the option, $205 million in development and commercialization fees and $450 million in sales-based goals.
It totals up to $865 million. And it’s all topped off by a royalty schedule, provided the drug makes it to the market.
Investors reacted in a giddy fashion, driving up Alpine’s stock more than 200% ahead of the bell.
Up now is a Phase II hurdle as researchers test the drug for systemic lupus erythematosus. And there are wider ambitions in autoimmune and inflammatory disease fields.
Tom Hudson, the CSO at AbbVie, likes the profile. He noted:
“ALPN-101’s dual mechanism of action has compelling potential as a next-generation treatment in systemic lupus erythematosus and other autoimmune diseases.