Roche out-licences dermatitis drug in $1.4bn deal

Positive results for Roche’s emicizumab phase II studies

Roche is to out-license certain rights to its investigational atropic dermatitis drug lebrikizumab to Demira in a deal worth $1.4 billion.

As per the deal, Dermira will obtain exclusive, worldwide rights to develop and commercialise lebrikizumab – a monoclonal antibody targeting interleukin 13 (IL-13).

The company is entitled to develop and commercialise the drug for atopic dermatitis and other conditions, except for atopic dermatitis and all other indications – except for interstitial lung diseases, the rights for which will remain with Roche.

Dermira will make an initial payment of $80 million to Roche and payments totalling $55 million in 2018.

The company will also be obligated to make additional payments upon the achievement of certain milestones.

“Atopic dermatitis is one of the most common skin diseases in the world, affecting millions of adults and children, and moderate to severe forms of this condition present a tremendous burden for patients,” said Tom Wiggans, chairman and CEO of Dermira.

He added: “We believe atopic dermatitis is one of the greatest unmet needs in dermatology, and lebrikizumab, if successfully developed and approved, could represent a meaningful advancement in the treatment of this disease.”

Dermira plans to initiate a Phase 2b dose-ranging study assessing lebrikizumab in adult patients with moderate-to-severe atopic dermatitis in the first quarter of 2018.