Principia, AbbVie walk away from 2017 partnership for inflammatory, autoimmune drugs

San Francisco-based Principia and partner AbbVie have elected to part ways on a collaboration they signed about two years ago, which handed the newly public biotech $15 million upfront.

Martin Babler

The drug developer, run by a troop of executives drawn from Roche, joined forces with AbbVie in June 2017 to develop oral immunoproteasome inhibitors for inflammatory and autoimmune disorders. Immunoproteasome is a family of proteasome — the cell’s protein recyclers — found abundantly in immune cells, which play a role in immune responses, affecting antigen presentation, T cell function and cytokine production.

The collaboration could have given Principia — which went public last year in an upsized $108 million IPO — up to $667.5 million in milestone payments, in addition to tiered royalty on sales. At the moment, the program is in advanced lead optimization (the stage that precedes preclinical testing).

AbbVie $ABBV decided the program was no longer a strategic fit, Principia chief Martin Babler said on Monday.

Principia $PRNB, which also counts Sanofi as partner, has a BTK inhibitor as its lead drug — PRN1008 — designed for autoimmune diseases, and is currently in a late-stage study for rare cases of a chronic skin condition called pemphigus.

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