Arena, Everest Medicines partner for Ralinepag and Etrasimod in China

This article was originally published here

Published 06 December 2017

Arena Pharmaceuticals and Everest Medicines have entered into a development and commercialization partnership for ralinepag and etrasimod in mainland China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Macau, and South Korea (the “Territories”).

C-Bridge Capital has invested $50 million to fund Everest and has assembled a veteran leadership team with an established track record in both the development of innovative drugs and commercialization in China and globally to rapidly advance select product candidates towards approval and launch. 

Everest was founded to leverage the evolving regulatory landscape in China aimed at enhancing the drug approval process related to transformative foreign drugs.

“We are very pleased to establish a partnership with Everest and C-Bridge Capital around two of our potential best-in-class product candidates,” said Amit D. Munshi, President and Chief Executive Officer of Arena. 

“With new regulations in place in China to expedite approvals, a significant opportunity for ralinepag and etrasimod exists in early synchronization of development programs. Based on their development and commercialization expertise, as well as strategy for leveraging changes in the regulatory environment, we view Everest as the ideal partner to maximize the value of our drugs in the rapidly growing Chinese market.  Arena and Everest are both committed to ensuring that these products are available to patients in China as expeditiously as possible.”

Arena is developing ralinepag, a Phase 3-ready next-generation, oral, selective prostacyclin receptor (IP) agonist for the treatment of pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH), and etrasimod, a Phase 2 oral, next-generation, S1P receptor modulator, being evaluated for multiple autoimmune diseases, including ulcerative colitis, a form of inflammatory bowel disease.

China is the second largest pharmaceutical market in the world, with healthcare expenditures forecasted to grow rapidly in the coming years (>10% annual growth rate from 2017 to 2025).1

“We are very excited to partner with Arena to bring these two highly differentiated investigational drugs to China.  We see great promise in the potential for both ralinepag and etrasimod to address significant unmet medical needs in Greater China and we hope to bring them to patients as quickly as possible,” said Sean Cao, President of Everest.

“Our strong belief in Everest’s capability to be the partner-of-choice for companies with innovative assets with large commercial potential in China is illustrated by our significant investment in Everest’s Series A round,” said Fu Wei, Chief Executive Officer of C-Bridge Capital.  “Arena’s potentially best-in-class programs lay a strong foundation for Everest’s growing pipeline.”

Under the terms of the agreement, Arena has granted Everest exclusive rights to develop and commercialize ralinepag and etrasimod in the Territories.  In return, Arena will receive an upfront payment of $12 million, is eligible to receive up to $212 million in development and commercial milestone payments and is entitled to receive up to low double-digit royalties on net annual sales of both ralinepag and etrasimod.

The parties plan to collaborate on development on both products; however, Everest is generally responsible for funding development and commercialization in the Territories.

Source: Company Press Release

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