Vitae scores $242M Alzheimer's pact with Boehringer

Vitae Pharmaceuticals struck a $242 million deal--$42 million of that as upfront or near term money--to develop Alzheimer's therapies with Boehringer Ingelheim. Vitae stands to earn $200 million in pre-commercialization milestones with more money at stake for additional compounds and indications.

The core program involves inhibiting beta-secretase, an enzyme involved in the formation of amyloid-beta plaques which accumulate in the brains of patients with Alzheimer's disease. New inhibitors could slow or even halt disease progression, researchers for the two companies say. And both companies will work to identify clinical development compounds with Boehringer Ingelheim talking the lead on development and commercialization work.

"This collaboration accomplishes three important objectives for our company," said Vitae CEO said Jeffrey Hatfield. "It adds substantial neuroscience expertise and specialized resources to the BACE program, which has advanced remarkably during its 16-month life. It also extends what is already a very successful partnership model with Boehringer Ingelheim, stemming from our existing diabetes and metabolic syndrome collaboration... And finally, it continues Vitae's business model of financing the company's growth through rapid value creation and partnering versus relying on the capital markets--which is favorable for our shareholders."

Developing new therapies for Alzheimer's has proven to be an extraordinarily difficult task. But with society aging, the memory-wasting ailment presents developers with a huge potential market and a number of developers are focused on the same mechanism of action as the Vitae/Boehringer team.

- check out the press release
- read the story from Reuters

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