Alfasigma snares EU rights to blood clotting antibody on the hunt for patients taking AstraZeneca's Brilinta
Two years after Phase I data generated promise for bentracimab as the first drug to stop bleeding in patients that were prescribed AstraZeneca’s much-hyped stroke and heart attack drug Brilinta, PhaseBio has licensed it out to a European partner.
PhaseBio sold European rights for the uncontrolled bleeding monoclonal antibody to Italian biotech Alfasigma. That company will market the drug in 49 countries across Europe and other markets, PhaseBio said in a press release.
Bentracimab has shown the ability in early human studies to reverse the antiplatelet effects of Brilinta, a drug from AstraZeneca that is prescribed to prevent stroke, heart attack and other acute coronary syndrome.
PhaseBio will get $20 million up front and another $35 million after obtaining regulatory approval, and the deal includes up to $190 million in sales milestones. Alfasigma is responsible for gaining approval from the EMA and MHRA. The privately owned Italian company is known for its focuses on gastroenterology and vascular health that employs around 3,000 people. It boasts several production plants and in-house R&D capabilities.
PhaseBio was given breakthrough designation from the FDA based off its Phase I results after it achieved “immediate and sustained reversal,” and the company moved to hustle the drug to the market. Its Phase IIa trial tested the drug in both elderly subjects on an antiplatelet therapy of Brilinta and aspirin, and healthy younger subjects, and achieved “immediate and sustained reversal of the anti platelet effects.” There are not currently any approved reversal agents for any anti platelet drugs, the company said in a release.
PhaseBio licensed bentracimab from MedImmune, the biologics arm of AstraZeneca, in 2017 for an upfront fee of $100,000, with $68 million in potential milestones. A little over a year later, PhaseBio rode that deal to an IPO with MedImmune owning 5% of the stock.
Bentricimab is currently in late-stage Phase III clinical development. The drug is focused on the prevention of bleeding, a common effect of Brilinta in patients who require urgent surgery, life-threatening bleeding or invasive procedures.