SAN DIEGO and RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C., Nov. 15, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — Arena Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Nasdaq: ARNA) and United Therapeutics Corporation (Nasdaq: UTHR) today announced that the companies have entered into a global license agreement for Arena’s Phase 3 investigational drug candidate, ralinepag, a next-generation, oral, selective and potent prostacyclin receptor agonist in development for the treatment of pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH).
Under the terms of the agreement, Arena will grant United Therapeutics exclusive, worldwide rights to develop, manufacture and commercialize ralinepag. In return, Arena will receive up to $1.2 billion, including an upfront payment of $800 million and potential milestone payments totaling up to $400 million based on the achievement of certain regulatory events. Additionally, Arena will receive low double-digit tiered royalties on annual net sales of ralinepag.
“We believe ralinepag has the potential to transform the treatment of PAH,” said Amit D. Munshi, President and Chief Executive Officer of Arena. “We are thrilled to partner with United Therapeutics, based on their long-standing, deep commitment to the PAH community. This transaction represents a significant milestone in the development of ralinepag and will strategically position Arena to aggressively advance our best-in-class pipeline, anchored by etrasimod and olorinab, with the focus and resources essential for long-term success.”
“We are very impressed with the clinical development plan and FDA coordination being managed by Arena,” said Martine Rothblatt, Ph.D., Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of United Therapeutics. “We have conducted extensive due diligence on ralinepag, applying our two decades of knowledge about PAH. We are confident that after achieving FDA approval via at least one of its several different potential regulatory pathways to success, this product will help greater than 10,000 patients annually from the 2020s and well into the 2030s, while complementing our existing portfolio of PAH therapies.”
The effectiveness of the agreement is conditioned on expiration or termination of the required waiting period under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976, as amended, and other customary closing conditions.
Arena Conference Call and Webcast
Arena will host a conference call and live webcast open to the public today, November 15, 2018, at 8:30 AM EST / 5:30 AM PST.
When: November 15, 2018, 8:30 AM EST / 5:30 AM PST
Dial-in: (877) 643-7155 (United States) or (914) 495-8552 (International)
Conference ID: 4484624
Please join the conference call at least 10 minutes early to register. You can access the live webcast under the investor relations section of Arena’s website at: www.arenapharm.com. A replay of the conference call will be archived under the investor relations section of Arena’s website for 30 days shortly after the call.
Ralinepag (APD811) is a next-generation, oral, selective potent, once-daily IP receptor agonist intended for the treatment of pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH). Arena discovered and developed this drug candidate internally. Ralinepag’s potency on vasodilation, inhibition of proliferation of vascular smooth muscle cells, and inhibition of platelet aggregation, combined with an extended half-life, support its application as a potentially best-in-class agent for the treatment of PAH.
Ralinepag is an investigational compound that is not approved for any use in any country.
About Arena Pharmaceuticals
Arena Pharmaceuticals is driven to deliver novel, transformational medicines with optimized pharmacology and pharmacokinetics to patients globally. Arena’s proprietary pipeline includes multiple potentially first- or best-in-class assets with broad clinical utility. Etrasimod (APD334), with potential utility in a broad range of immune and inflammatory conditions, is being evaluated in later-stage clinical programs in ulcerative colitis (UC) and Crohn’s disease, as well as progressing programs for primary biliary cholangitis (PBC) and atopic dermatitis. Ralinepag (APD811) is being evaluated in a Phase 3 program for pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH). Arena is also evaluating olorinab (APD371) in a Phase 2 program for gastrointestinal pain. Arena continues to assess other earlier research and development stage drug candidates, including APD418 for decompensated heart failure.
In addition, Arena has several partnerships including with Everest Medicines Limited (ralinepag and etrasimod in Greater China and select Asian countries), Axovant Sciences GmbH (nelotanserin – Phase 2), Boehringer Ingelheim International GmbH (undisclosed target – preclinical), Outpost Medicine, LLC (undisclosed target – preclinical), and Eisai Co., Ltd. and Eisai Inc. (BELVIQ® – marketed product).
About United Therapeutics
United Therapeutics Corporation focuses on the strength of a balanced, value-creating biotechnology model. We are confident in our future thanks to our fundamental attributes, namely our obsession with quality and innovation, the power of our brands, our entrepreneurial culture and our bioinformatics leadership. We also believe that our determination to be responsible citizens – having a positive impact on patients, the environment and society – will sustain our success in the long term.
Through our wholly-owned subsidiary, Lung Biotechnology PBC, we are focused on addressing the acute national shortage of transplantable lungs and other organs with a variety of technologies that either delay the need for such organs or expand the supply. Lung Biotechnology is the first public benefit corporation subsidiary of a public biotechnology or pharmaceutical company. [uthr-g]