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Abbott pays out $400 million for access to more Reata antioxidant inflammation modulators compounds
  antioxidant inflammation modulators compounds
Pharmatimes World News | December 12, 2011

Abbott Laboratories has signed another deal with partner Reata Pharmaceuticals which will boost the latter's bank balance by a further $400 million.

The companies will jointly develop Reata's portfolio of second-generation oral antioxidant inflammation modulators (AIMs). The agreement is in addition to the partnership they announced in September 2010 in which Abbott paid some $450 million to get certain rights to bardoxolone, an AIM compound which is in Phase III for chronic kidney disease.

The latest deal covers "a large number of molecules in a broad range of therapeutic areas, including pulmonary, central nervous system disorders and immunology". Abbott and Reata will equally share costs and profits for all new AIMs in all indications except for rheumatoid arthritis and select other autoimmune diseases, in which Abbott will be responsible for 70% of costs and profits.

Abbott will make a one-time licence payment of $400 million to Reata and the companies expect the first compound in this latest collaboration to enter into clinical trials in 2012. The deal also includes a research agreement in which the firms will work together "to discover new molecules that exhibit the same pharmacology as the AIMs already in Reata's pipeline".

John Leonard, head of pharma R&D at Abbott, said the deal allows the company to "enhance its promising research pipeline across multiple therapeutic areas". He added that "accumulating data has established the potential for AIMs in neuroscience and immunology, and we look forward to expanding our knowledge".

The collaboration, and the amount of cash Abbott is paying upfront, is quite striking, coming a week after the firm's chief executive Miles White told attendees at the FT Pharmaceutical and Biotechnology conference in London, that investors do not value pipelines. Abbott is in the process of splitting its $18 billion drugs arm from its diagnostics, devices, nutrition and branded generics businesses.

Abbott gets rights to Reata kidney drug for $450 million

World News | September 24, 2010

Abbott Laboratories has entered into a deal with Reata Pharmaceuticals, getting certain rights outside the USA to the Texas-based firm's bardoxolone, a promising treatment for chronic kidney disease.

Under the terms of the agreement, Abbott is getting exclusive rights to develop and commercialise bardoxolone outside the USA, excluding certain Asian markets. In return, Reata will receive upfront and near-term cash payments of $450 million, plus milestone fees and royalties, while Abbott also obtains rights to certain other compounds for CKD and for cardiovascular and metabolic indications in these territories.

Bardoxolone is an oral, first-in-class antioxidant inflammation modulator that works by increasing the estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) of the kidneys. In two Phase II trials, it significantly improved kidney function in patients with advanced CKD, which affects some 50 million people worldwide, and type 2 diabetes.

John Leonard, senior vice president for pharmaceutical R&D at Abbott, said that those studies suggest bardoxolone "could be a significant improvement to the current standard of care for CKD and possibly prevent patients from progressing to the later stages of the disease and dialysis". He added that the agreement "builds on Abbott's existing experience in renal care, while adding a promising compound to our later-stage pipeline."

At the beginning of the year, Reata granted rights in Japan and other selected Asian markets, including China, to Kyowa Hakko Kirin for the drug. In July, the company raised $78 milion in a financing by existing investors CPMG and Novo A/S to fund the second of two pivotal trials of bardoxolone.

Investors do not value pharma pipeline - Abbott CEO

World News | December 06, 2011

Abbott Laboratories' chief executive Miles White has been talking about the rationale behind the recent decision to split the firm's business and dismissed rumours that its pharmaceuticals business will be sold off.

In October, the US major announced it is to split off its $18 billion drugs arm into a new, as-yet unnamed company, while the remainder - diagnostics, devices, nutrition and branded generics - will keep the Abbott name. Speaking at the FT Pharmaceutical and Biotechnology conference in London, Mr White said the move followed discussions with investors who no longer regard pharma as a growth business.

The feeling was that Abbott was viewed as "Humira and other", referring to the firm's huge-selling rheumatoid arthritis drug and investors nowadays do not value the pipeline (a view echoed by other speakers at the conference). They are only interested in the drug portfolio when they "can see the whites of its eyes", he said.

The non-pharma operations are seen as areas of growth, as opposed to the "expensive science" side, Mr White went on to claim. The less risky businesses attract a different type of investor, he added.

The Abbott boss went on to say that both halves of the business are profitable and will have a market capitalisation of around $40-$45 billion. However, when asked whether either of the businesses could be sold off, he made it pretty clear that is not the plan.

Mr White said a buyer "would have to have an awful lot of cash and would have to have a 'yes' from the CEO and that's a hard 'yes' to get".

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