Sanofi will develop Principia Biopharma’s Phase I central nervous system (CNS) candidate PRN2246 as a treatment for multiple sclerosis (MS), through a collaboration that could generate up to $805 million for Principia, the companies said today.
PRN2246 is a low-dose, covalent Bruton’s tyrosine kinase (BTK) inhibitor that can cross the blood–brain barrier to access the brain and spinal cord, enabling the drug to penetrate the CNS with the goal of effectively and safely modulating B-cell function without depleting B cells. According to Principia, the role of B cells in autoimmunity has been clinically validated with B-cell-depleting therapy in MS and other diseases that affect the nervous system.
Principia recently launched a Phase I trial of PRN2246 in healthy volunteers.
“Sanofi is an ideal partner for PRN2246,” Principia CEO Martin Babler said in a statement. “The agreement allows Principia to maximize the BTK opportunity in neurology with a strong partner for PRN2246 while focusing internal resources on our lead BTK inhibitor in another therapeutic area.”
Babler was referring to Principia’s lead candidate PRN1008, a BTK inhibitor in an ongoing Phase II trial development for pemphigus vulgaris, a rare orphan autoimmune disease associated with painful chronic blistering of the skin, and in Phase I for another undisclosed indication.
Principia agreed to grant Sanofi an exclusive, worldwide license to…