Glaxo forges $680M RNA pact with Prosensa

GlaxoSmithKline has committed up to $680 in upfront fees and milestones to team with the Dutch biotech Prosensa on a package of four RNA programs aimed at Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. Glaxo gets the worldwide commercial rights to Prosensa's lead program, PR0051, which is expected to start a Phase III trial early next year, as well as options to license three more of Prosensa's DMD programs.

For its part, Prosensa gets $25 million upfront and up to $655 million in milestones--provided Glaxo can get all the way to the market with its four compounds. The developer also gets double-digit royalties, co-promotion rights, an option to expand its commercial rights in certain European countries and a big endorsement of its technology.

"This alliance will not only speed up the further development of PR0015, but will also accelerate the progress of our complementary DMD therapeutics, allowing us to reach a broader patient population," says Prosensa CEO Hans Schikan. Prosensa has been advancing RNA therapies that it believes are uniquely suited to correcting the various genetic mutations that cause DMD. PR0015 has the potential to treat 13 percent of DMD patients. The fatal disease afflicts one in every 3,500 newborn boys and there are currently no approved therapies to prevent it.

- check out the press release from Prosensa