For the last few years, Abbott Labs'
Yesterday's licensing of BT-061 from Biotest could help the future bleeding, though. The drug is in phase 2 trials for rheumatoid arthritis and psoriasis and could potentially be used in other immune-related diseases like Crohn's disease, which Humira also treats.
Abbott is paying $85 million upfront and $395 million in potential milestones for access to BT-061. Biotest retained co-marketing rights in the five largest European markets, but Abbott will have worldwide rights elsewhere. If it's approved, Biotest is owed royalties, but as usual, the levels weren't disclosed.
BT-061 works in a different way than Humira -- it attacks CD4 rather than TNF -- which might make it work better. Only working as well as the current TNF blockers -- Humira, Merck
The other knock on BT-061 is that it's an antibody, so it'll have to be injected or infused. Pfizer, Rigel Pharmaceuticals
Even with the clear challenges, licensing a follow-up compound seems like a good move. It certainly beats Abbott sitting on its hands and waiting for the bleeding to begin.
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