Korean biotech firm Bridge Biotherapeutics announced on July 18 that it has signed a contract with German-based pharmaceutical company Boehringer Ingelheim to license out its drug candidate BBT-877.
BBT-877 is expected to be developed to treat various fibrotic diseases such as idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis and non-alcoholic steatohepatitis.
The two companies also agreed to first focus on developing idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis treatment together.
“We are glad to join hands with Boehringer Ingelheim, which leads the global idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis treatment industry,” Bridge Biotherapeutics CEO Lee Jung-kyu said in a statement. “We expect that possibilities to successfully develop a new drug for treating idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis will increase through this partnership.”
The Korean biotech startup will receive 45 million euros ($50.57 million) as an advance payment then get around 1.1 billion euros as milestone payments. Separate royalty fees will also be paid to the Korean firm once the drug is commercialized. Some industry insiders see that this amount clearly shows the high demand for treating idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, which is a chronic lung disease with limited treatment options. Currently, more than 3 million patients are suffering from this disease worldwide.
BBT-877 was originally discovered by LegoChem Biosciences, which was licensed to Bridge Biotherapeutics for worldwide exclusive rights for further development in 2017. Currently, the drug candidate is under phase 1 clinical trial in the US.
“We are hoping to apply for phase 2 clinical trial within a year and we will be doing that with Boehringer Ingelheim,” Bridge Biotherapeutics spokesperson Ahn Jung-bin told The Investor.
By Song Seung-hyun (firstname.lastname@example.org)