Intercept lands $315M Asian pact for liver disease drug

Japan's Dainippon Sumitomo is slapping down $15 million and promising up to $300 million more in milestones in exchange for the rights to Intercept Pharmaceuticals' late-stage liver disease drug in China and Japan. Dainippon Sumitomo will also pay double-digit royalties following a prospective approval for INT-747, which will be studied in an upcoming European and U.S. late-stage program for primary biliary cirrhosis.

"This agreement is an important milestone for our OCA program and provides additional confirmation of our drug's potential," said Mark Pruzanski, MD, the CEO of Intercept. "We are excited to be partnering in Asia with DSP, given its proven track record in the development and commercialization of drugs in the hepatology area. This collaboration with DSP will provide important development support as we advance OCA in parallel for PBC, NASH and possibly other indications."

A little over a year ago the privately-owned Intercept, which has research facilities in Italy, garnered $25 million from a Series B funded by Genextra. INT-747, an FXR agonist derived from the primary human bile acid chenodeoxycholic acid, is its lead drug. The oral drug has completed a positive Phase II study.

- here's the Intercept release