RARE Daily

Ascendis Pharma Enters Strategic License Agreement to Commercialize It Drugs in Japan

November 29, 2023

Rare Daily Staff

Ascendis Pharma said that the company has entered into an exclusive license agreement with Teijin to develop and commercialize a group of its rare endocrinology disease products in Japan.

The agreement covers Ascendis’ TransCon hGH, TransCon PTH, and TransCon CNP.

TransCon is a technology platform for drug development. It combines known biology with the benefits of prodrug and sustained-release technologies to potentially optimize therapeutic effect by enhancing efficacy, improving tolerability and convenience, or reducing caregiver burden. TransCon molecules have three components: an unmodified parent drug with known biology, an inert carrier that protects it, and a linker that temporarily binds the two. When bound, the carrier inactivates and shields the parent drug from clearance. When injected, physiologic conditions in the body initiate the release of the active, unmodified parent drug in a predictable manner at a predetermined rate. Because the parent drug is unmodified, Ascendis expects its original mode of action to be maintained.

“We believe this collaboration is a major step in our journey to achieve global reach for our current Endocrinology Rare Disease portfolio by helping to address unmet medical needs of patients in Japan,” said Jan Mikkelsen, Ascendis Pharma’s president and CEO.

Under the terms of the agreement, Ascendis will receive an upfront payment of $70 million, with additional development and regulatory milestones of up to $175 million, transfer pricing and commercial milestones. In addition, Ascendis Pharma is eligible to receive royalties on net sales in Japan, of up to mid-20’s percent, varying by product.

“Ascendis has leveraged its innovative TransCon technology platform to create a suite of highly differentiated product candidates with best-in-class potential that complement our existing pharmaceutical portfolio,” said Akimoto Uchikawa, Teijin’s president and CEO. “We expect this partnership will contribute a great deal to advance our healthcare business vision to address issues of patients, families and communities in need of more support followed by the introduction of pharmaceuticals in rare and intractable disease areas utilizing our business platform cultivated so far.”

Photo: Jan Mikkelsen, Ascendis Pharma’s president and CEO

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