Allergan increases pipeline with Parkinson’s deal
Allergan has stepped into the field of Parkinson’s disease with an option to acquire US-based neurodegenerative research group Lysosomal Therapeutics (LTI).
LTI-291, LTI’s lead programme, is designed to stimulate the activity of glucocerebrosidase (GCase) in the brain, which is reduced in many lysosomal storage diseases because of mutations in the GBA1 gene.
Approximately 5-10% of patients with Parkinson’s disease (PD) have such mutations. Given that evidence shows these patients have a more rapid disease progression, it is hoped that activation of GCase by LTI-291 will help to slow it down.
Allergan has bought the right to purchase the company after a Phase Ib trial for LTI-291 has been completed.
Although specifics of the deal weren’t released, it was revealed that Allergan will provide a separate upfront research and development payment and that both companies will establish a joint development committee to oversee the development activities for LTI-291.
“Parkinson’s disease is an area of medicine where significant unmet need exists, particularly in the development and potential breakthrough of disease-modifying treatments for the more than 2 million people suffering with Parkinson’s today,” said David Nicholson, Allergan’s chief R&D officer, explaining the firm’s interest in the area.
The Irish drug giant said it believes that LTI-291 “represents a compelling opportunity for treatment of Parkinson’s in a subpopulation with specific genetic mutations.”