GlaxoSmithKline has partnered with Actelion in a whopping 3.3 billion Swiss franc pact ($3.25 billion) covering a new insomnia therapy now in late-stage studies. Actelion nabs 150 million francs upfront with 415 million more dependent on the Phase III data. Shares of Actelion swiftly shot up after the Swiss developer announced the news concerning almorexant. Another 2.7 billion francs in additional milestone payments is up for grabs depending on the drug's performance against insomnia and two other "major indications." GSK will also pay for 40 percent of the remaining development costs for the drug, which Actelion will continue to shepherd.
That's a big win for Actelion, which has been developing the orexin receptor antagonist. GSK acquires the worldwide rights to almorexant outside Japan. GSK has also been developing an orexin antagonist, though PharmaTimes notes that the program appears "stalled."