Troubled Teva turns to risk-sharing team at Nuvelution to gamble on a new PhIII study

When Nuvelution debuted a couple of years ago, the San Francisco-based developer with its powerhouse board of directors set out to pursue a new set of risk-sharing R&D deals with biopharma. Today, it went public with one of those pacts, signing off on a commitment to gamble on a Phase III study of Teva’s newly approved drug Austedo for Tourette syndrome, with a shot at bagging a reward if all works according to plan.

Teva pursued pivotal studies by itself for Huntington’s chorea as well as tardive dyskinesia. But the troubled company — which has undergone a reorganization as it lined up a new CEO — has been clearly cash constrained, making them an ideal partner for a company like Nuvelution.

In this deal, Nuvelution will do the study, steering it and covering the bills. If it works out, Teva will provide an unspecified reward for its work.

Sandy Zweifach, Nuvelution

Risk-sharing deals, though, have been quietly making headway in the industry over the last few years, as major players look to do more on a capped budget. That’s what attracted Clarus and Novo A/S to back the team at Nuvelution in 2015. The company has also attracted a star group of board members, including former Teva chief Jeremy Levin as well as former Sanofi CEO Chris Viehbacher.

“More than 130,000 children with Tourette syndrome in the US endure significant distress, stigmatization and isolation due to their motor and phonetic tics” said Michael Hayden, the CSO at Teva. “Nuvelution is the ideal partner to help us realize the potential of this medication in Tourette syndrome and to help bring it to patients as quickly as possible.”

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