Astellas pays $760M for Alzheimer's program

Another day, another big biotech deal. This time it's Japan's Astellas Pharma, which is paying $760 million for access to CoMentis's Alzheimer's drug. The development and commercialization agreement covers CoMentis' entire beta-secretase inhibitor program, which includes the company's CoMentis' lead Alzhiemer's compound CTS-21166. CoMentis lands an upfront payment of $80 million and an equity investment of $20 million. It could also receive up to $660 million in development milestones along with performance-based commercialization milestones.

"I strongly believe that CoMentis is very sophisticated in small-molecule drug discovery and development in CNS, the area of attention. Astellas is committed to developing the CNS therapeutic area as one of our prioritized therapeutic areas, and this partnership is expected to be a driving force to accelerate the establishment of our CNS infrastructure," said Hirofumi Onosaka, Astellas's Senior Corporate Executive.

The deal is one of several recent examples of collaboration between American and Japanese biotech companies. Takeda, of course, recently bid for $8.8 billion for Millennium Pharmaceuticals, Amgen bought Kyowa Hakko's antibody drug KW-0761, and in November Astellas also bought Santa Monica, CA-based Agensys.

- here's the Astellas release

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