Celiac.com 04/01/2011 - Cephalon has signed an agreement that gives the company the option to purchase a potentially promising new treatment for celiac disease from Alba Therapeutics.
The deal calls for Cephalon to pay Alba a $7 million upfront fee, and to offering funding support for a phase IIb trial of the drug in question, a tight junction modulator known as larazotide acetate.
The deal allows Cephalon to acquire all assets relating to the treatment for an additional payment of $15 million, within specified time window, once trial data have been published
Cephalon CEO, Kevin Buchi, said the company's interest is based on encouraging trial data for the drug thus far.
If larazotide acetate proves to be effective against celiac disease, it "has the potential to be the first pharmacologic therapy available to treat patients who endure this often serious condition," Buchi said.