Teva in $250M Regeneron collab deal for fasinumab

Teva ($TEVA) will pay $250 million to help finish off mid-to-late stage work and then team up on selling Regeneron's ($REGN) experimental NGF antibody fasinumab.

Under the pact the Israeli generics giant, who is increasingly looking toward R&D for future growth, will pay the $250 million upfront and then share 50-50 in the global commercial value, as well as ongoing R&D costs--which the companies see as topping out at $1 billion.

Regeneron, meanwhile, can look forward to development and regulatory milestone payments and additional pay-outs based on net sales. The Big Biotech will also lead global development and U.S. commercialization.

The deal centers around Regeneron’s fasinumab that is already in Phase III testing for osteoarthritis pain as well as in a Phase II study for chronic low back pain.

This comes off the back of positive data from a Phase II/III study, posted back in May, for osteoarthritis patients that saw it notch significant improvements on a key pain score.

But it also comes amid some shifts in R&D around this class, a class that sees drugs target nerve growth factor to silence pain.

There have been some major safety concerns with this class in years gone by, but it has been building back up in recent years--though it may never reach the original $11 billion market size that was once touted for these meds.

And there was another blow back in April when Janssen ($JNJ) gave back the rights to its anti-NGF pain drug fulranumab Amgen ($AMGN), coming after it had marked the med out as one of its major blockbusters-in-waiting.

But others are still happy with the prospects from this class, including seemingly now Teva. The company’s CSO and president of global R&D Michael Hayden said: “Adding the promise of fasinumab to our developing pipeline of pain products … provides a strong, strategic cornerstone to our pain franchise at Teva.

“It has the potential to provide a treatment option without the concerns of abuse, addiction and misuse of opioids. In the United States alone, it is estimated that 30 million people suffer pain from osteoarthritis and the same number with chronic low back pain.”

A year ago, Regeneron also penned a $325 million Asia pact with Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma for fasinumab, which still stands. Under this deal, MTP continues to have exclusive development and commercial rights to fasinumab in Japan, Korea and nine other Asian countries.