Allergan acquires Chase Pharmaceuticals to expand CNS R&D pipeline and build on commitment to Alzheimer’s disease.
Allergan plc, a global pharmaceutical company, announced that it has completed the acquisition of Chase Pharmaceuticals Corporation, a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on the development of improved treatments for neurodegenerative disorders including Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Allergan acquired Chase for an upfront payment of $125 million (subject to certain adjustments) and additional potential regulatory and sales milestone payments related to Chase’s lead compound, CPC-201, and certain backup compounds.
“Alzheimer’s disease is a neurodegenerative disease that represents a major and growing global public health problem, for which very few approved treatment options are available, and the societal cost is measured in hundreds of billions of dollars, so the need for improved treatment choices is paramount,” said David Nicholson, chief research & development officer, Allergan. “This acquisition adds a new Phase 3 ready program for Alzheimer’s disease to our CNS (central nervous system) portfolio and builds on our commitment to develop innovative approaches to improve the lives of millions of patients suffering from this devastating illness.”
Chase’s lead compound, CPC-201, is a patent-protected combination of the most commonly prescribed acetylcholinesterase inhibitor (AChEI), donepezil, and the peripherally acting cholinergic blocker, solifenacin. AChEIs have been shown to improve cognition in Alzheimer’s disease patients. Currently approved AChEIs are only modestly effective due to dose-limiting side effects, including diarrhea, nausea and vomiting.
In Phase 2 clinical trials, 29 out of 33 patients (88%) reached 40 mg/day of donepezil (maximum dose allowed), without experiencing dose-limiting adverse events. This median donepezil dose did not change significantly during three months of maintenance treatment. Chase’s next-generation formulations offer the possibility of greater and more tolerable dosing, and may provide the potential for significantly improved cognition and function in Alzheimer’s disease patients.
Chase Pharmaceuticals recently completed an End of Phase 2 meeting with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Based on feedback from the FDA, Allergan intends to advance CPC-201 into a single Phase 3 registration study in 2017.
“We at Chase Pharmaceuticals are passionate about developing and bringing to physicians and their patients profoundly improved Alzheimer’s disease treatments. I am very excited that Allergan has recognized the strong clinical value of our development programs and look forward to seeing Allergan apply its leading clinical development and regulatory expertise to bring these potential treatments forward for patients,” said Douglas Ingram, chief executive officer and president, Chase Pharmaceuticals Corporation.
“We believe our lead candidate, CPC-201, will offer a significant improvement over existing therapy in the symptomatic treatment of Alzheimer’s disease, and will benefit all those suffering from this disease,” said Thomas Chase, co-founder and chief scientific officer of Chase Pharmaceuticals.
“When determining appropriate treatment for my patients with Alzheimer’s, I am looking for treatments that provide a beneficial effect with the lowest possible side effect profile,” said Jeffrey L. Cummings, M.D., ScD, director of the Cleveland Clinic’s Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health and the Camille and Larry Ruvo Chair of the Neurological Institute at Cleveland Clinic and a former consultant for Chase Pharmaceuticals. “The potential to provide improved cognition without the dose-limiting side effects of currently available AChEIs would be a welcome advance for medical professionals, their patients and caregivers who seek better approaches to manage the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease.”
Cognitive Impairment in Alzheimer’s Disease and Other Central Nervous System Diseases1
Today there is significant unmet medical need and heavy economic burden across multiple diseases characterized by cognitive impairment and dementia. Healthcare costs associated with AD and dementia (estimated at over $640 billion for North America, Western Europe and Asia-Pacific) including nursing home care, continue to grow dramatically and new therapies with better and more durable efficacy are urgently needed. It is estimated that more than 45 million people worldwide have dementia (4.8 million in North America, 7.5 million in Western Europe, 3.6 million in Asia-Pacific) and this is expected to increase to more than 130 million in 2050. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause of dementia and may contribute to 60–70% of cases. In addition, an estimated 1.4 million patients in the U.S. suffer from Lewy body dementia.
1 Background sources: World Health Organization, Alzheimer’s Disease International, National Institute of Mental Health, Lewy Body Dementia Association.
(Source: PR Newswire)