Phenomix, Chiesi partner to develop dutogliptin for almost $200M

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Biopharmaceutical company Phenomix and Italy-based Chiesi Farmaceutici will partner to advance and market dutogliptin (PHX1149), an inhibitor used to treat patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus in Europe, Brazil, Russia, Turkey and Northern Africa as well as the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS).

Under the agreement, Chiesi will provide Phenomix with $28 million in equity payments and up to $163 million total payments upon completion of development of the inhibitor. According to the contract, Chiesi will be held responsible for the product development, approval and commercialization in its territories.

The drug, currently Phenomix’s, is orally administered as a molecule dipeptidyl-peptidase-4 (DPP-4) inhibitor and is in Phase 3 of its clinical development.

"Diabetes is a growing global problem. DPP-4 inhibitors offer a breakthrough in this therapeutic area and dutogliptin offers an opportunity for Chiesi to address an extreme unmet medical need. Dutogliptin is the cornerstone of our growing cardiometabolic franchise and marks our commitment to make innovative treatments available to patients with type 2 diabetes,” said Alberto Chiesi, chairman and CEO of Chiesi.

In a random, 12-week clinical trial of 422 patients, dutogliptin significantly reduced hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) levels when combined with metformin in patients with type 2 diabetes.

According to the company, the inhibitor works to prevent DPP-4 from breaking down incretin hormone glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1), which increases the hormone in the digestive tract and the blood.

In October 2008, Phenomix and New York City-based Forest Laboratories entered an agreement to co-develop and promote dutogliptin in the U.S., while granting rights to Forest to develop the inhibitor throughout Canada and Mexico.