On March 11, Sanofi (NYSE: SNY) and Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: REGN) announced that an experimental rheumatoid arthritis therapy (salrilumab) helped patients more than AbbVie Inc.’s (NYSE: ABBV) Humira in a late-stage trial. But AbbVie already had a new deal in place, a collaboration with Boehringer Ingelheim, that was announced on March 7.
Under terms of the agreement, AbbVie will make an initial upfront payment of $595 million to BI, which will be eligible to receive additional development and regulatory milestone payments and royalties on net sales of any drugs developed from this collaboration.
At the center of the deal is BI 655066, an anti-IL-23 antibody now in Phase 3 trials for psoriasis. The compound demostrated greater efficacy over ustekinumab in Phase 2 clinical studices, and it has the potential to become a best-in-class treatment in psoriasis with additional Phase 2 development in Crohn’s disease, psoriatic arthritis and asthma.
AbbVie and BI will share responsibility for future clinical development and establish a joint steering committee. This collaboration positions anti-IL-23 as AbbVie’s lead investigational compound in psoriasis, complementing its immunology pipeline.