AbbVie to assume control of CF research program

AbbVie aims to develop triple-combination CF therapy.

AbbVie has announced that it will assume full development and commercial responsibility for its collaboration with Galapagos to discover and develop new therapies to treat cystic fibrosis (CF).

AbbVie’s research program aims to develop a best-in-class, triple-combination therapy for patients living with CF. Currently in early clinical development, the program consists of mechanistically distinct drug-candidates, termed ‘potentiators’ and ‘correctors’, which collectively increase the activity of the mutated copies of the cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) protein that causes CF.

AbbVie will apply its expertise in medicinal chemistry and small-molecule drug discovery and development to produce promising candidates that will help change the standard of care for CF patients.

CF is a progressive, genetic disease that affects the lungs, pancreas, and other vital organs, and may result in serious complications or death. More than 70,000 people worldwide are living with CF, with approximately 1000 new cases diagnosed each year.

Typically diagnosed in early childhood, more than half of people living with CF are over 18 years of age and generally have a 50 percent shorter average lifespan compared to the general population.

Under a revised definitive agreement approved by both companies, AbbVie will assume full development and commercial responsibility over the investigational program comprising several clinical and pre-clinical compounds originally discovered and developed jointly by AbbVie and Galapagos.

Galapagos will not pursue further research and development in CF, but is eligible for future milestones and royalties on commercialized programs. Galapagos retains the right to future development of GLPG-2737 in non-CF indications. AbbVie is eligible to receive undisclosed future milestones and royalties in non-CF indications.

Dr Michael Severino, executive vice president of research and development and chief scientific officer, AbbVie, said: “We have a proven track record working with challenging molecular targets across a wide range of life-threatening illnesses and will harness this expertise to progress the next-generation of CF treatment. Our previous work with Galapagos has identified a number of promising candidates and we thank them for their contribution to our partnership.”