Cerep today announced the signature of a license agreement with Théa for the LFA-1 receptor antagonist discovered by Cerep as part of its collaboration with Bristol-Myers Squibb. Clinical development of this compound for the treatment of systemic immuno-inflammatory diseases had previously been stopped as hepatotoxic effects were observed after oral administration.
In 2008, Cerep and Théa identified a potential novel application for the LFA-1 receptor antagonists in
ophthalmology. In these new indications, the compound should be administered topically, thus strongly
reducing the risk of hepatotoxic effects.
The terms of the contract provide that the signature of this license agreement triggers a first payment to
Cerep; milestones payments are also associated to the success of the program as well as royalties on
sales once the drug will reach the market. The first milestone is the completion of a successful proof of
concept to be started shortly.
“Théa, the first European independent pharmaceutical group dedicated to ophthalmology, has always
focused on bringing innovative therapeutic solutions. This very promising project may open the door to a novel therapeutic class with multiple possibilities for ophthalmologic diseases.” commented Jean-Frédéric Chibret, President of Théa Laboratories.
“We are particularly happy of this agreement with Théa, a recognized specialist in ophthalmologic diseases. We are confident that this project has a real potential of success, first because the compound has already showed efficacy in Phase II clinical trial for the treatment of an immuno-inflammatory affection but also because the new targeted therapeutic domain associated with an anticipated reduced dosage should avoid the hepatotoxic effects, resulting from an oral administration, which led to the abandonment of the original program. Théa has a huge experience in ophthalmology and the size which makes it the ideal partner for the development of this compound” commented Thierry Jean, President & CEO of Cerep.