With late-stage data in on the CGRP migraine drug erenumab, Novartis and Amgen rework commercialization pact

Five months after Amgen and Novartis outlined their second batch of positive Phase III data for their CGRP migraine drug erenumab, the two giants have reworked their commercial partnership to give Novartis a piece of the US market — for a price.

Under their original deal Amgen was left in charge of the US, but now Novartis has agreed to cover part of the commercialization costs in exchange for a slice of the revenue in the all-important market.

In their statement Amgen says it will get unspecified milestones from Novartis. Novartis also gets Canada and most of the rest of the world while Amgen will be responsible for marketing in Japan.

CGRP will be a big focus this week, as Amgen and Novartis line up their late-stage drug against rivals focused on the same target from Eli Lilly, Teva and Alder at the American Academy of Neurology conference.

The two companies originally came together on this pact for migraine and Alzheimer’s in 2015.

“Migraine is a debilitating disease and today many patients are sub-optimally treated due to tolerability issues with existing therapies,” said Anthony C. Hooper, executive vice president of Global Commercial Operations at Amgen. “Combining the U.S. capabilities of Amgen and Novartis in preparation for the launch of erenumab can create meaningful value over the life of this first-in-class program by enabling us to more effectively, and perhaps even more rapidly, reach people who live with the impact of migraine on a daily basis.”

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