UCB taps Neuropore in a $480M Parkinson's collaboration

Belgian drugmaker UCB has inked a $480 million deal to team up with Neuropore Therapies on some early-stage treatments for Parkinson's disease.

Neuropore, headquartered in San Diego, is due $20 million up front and in line for $460 million more in incentives through the life of the deal. The pair's top target is NPT200-11, a preclinical drug designed to stabilize the common brain protein alpha synuclein, whose misfolding is related to Parkinson's.

The drug has shown promise in preclinical studies and animal models, Neuropore said, and now UCB is on board to kick off its first human trials later this year.

About 10 million people suffer from Parkinson's around the world, UCB said, and current treatments, like the common levodopa and carbidopa, manage only its motor symptoms, creating a huge unmet need for therapies that target the disease's root causes.

"People living with Parkinson's disease need better treatment options, especially as there is currently no approved treatment that addresses a fundamental pathological mechanism in Parkinson's disease," UCB New Medicines President Ismail Kola said in a statement. "With Neuropore's NPT200-11, we have the opportunity to develop a disease modifying treatment option for patients with Parkinson's disease and other synucleinopathies."

Beyond its top asset, Neuropore is at work on early-stage small-molecule treatments targeting amyloid beta proteins and cell autophagy as pathways for battling Parkinson's and Alzheimer's disease.

- read the statement