Gowling WLG advises Eloxx Pharmaceuticals on exclusive drug license agreement with Almirall

4 minute read
19 March 2024
  • Almirall obtains exclusive global rights to develop and commercialize ZKN-013 for the treatment of rare dermatological and other diseases associated with nonsense mutations.
  • ZKN-013 is a phase I ready oral therapy designed to overcome nonsense mutations that cause a premature stop codon resulting in nonfunctional protein production for example in recessive Dystrophic Epidermolysis Bullosa (RDEB), Junctional Epidermolysis Bullosa (JEB) and familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP)

Gowling WLG's award-winning Life Sciences team has advised Eloxx Pharmaceuticals on an exclusive licence agreement with Spanish pharmaceutical company Almirall for a drug to treat rare skin conditions and other diseases caused by gene mutations.

Under the agreement, Almirall is granted global rights to develop and commercialise ZKN-103, a potentially promising oral, nonsense mutation readthrough drug, which enables the host cells to produce functional proteins that counteract the root cause of rare dermatological and potentially other diseases.

Eloxx Pharmaceuticals will receive an initial payment of $3 million as part of the deal, as well as additional payments throughout the potential development phases. This will include regulatory and sales milestones of up to $470 million and tiered royalties based on any potential future global sales.

Head of Life Sciences Patrick Duxbury led the deal, together with fellow Life Sciences partner Sharmela Kalmer.

Patrick Duxbury said: "We were thrilled to act in our advisory role for a valued client to support the creation of treatment for these painful and debilitating diseases. Our deep industry knowledge and strong relationship with Eloxx allowed for a smooth deal-completion".

Sumit Aggarwal, President and Chief Executive Officer of Eloxx said "We are very excited about this agreement with Almirall to develop and distribute ZKN-013, our lead TURBO-ZM™ based molecule, as we believe it has the potential to have a significant impact on the treatment of these painful and debilitating diseases. In addition to advancing development of ZKN-013, this agreement will allow Eloxx to remain focused on fully maximising the potential of ELX-02 in rare kidney diseases and continue funded discovery efforts on our TURBO-ZM™ platform.”

Eloxx Pharmaceuticals is engaged in the science of ribosome modulation, leveraging its innovative TURBO-ZM™ chemistry technology platform in an effort to develop novel Ribosome Modulating Agents (RMAs) and its library of Eukaryotic Ribosome Selective Glycosides (ERSGs). Eloxx’s lead investigational product candidate, ELX-02, is a small molecule drug candidate designed to restore production of full-length functional proteins. ELX-02 is in Phase 2 clinical development for the treatment of Alport syndrome in patients with nonsense mutations.

Gowling WLG's global Life Sciences Group has the technical understanding required to advise on the unique challenges companies face throughout their life cycles. They draw on first hand industry experience and extensive legal expertise to guide and support business, intellectual property, human resource and regulatory teams in key areas of life sciences.

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