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Israel’s Teva in pact with Launch Therapeutics for asthma drug

Israel’s Teva Pharmaceutical Industries, and US-based Launch Therapeutics, have joined hands to speed up the development of an experimental asthma drug.

HQ Team

April 2, 2024: Israel’s Teva Pharmaceutical Industries, and US-based Launch Therapeutics, have joined hands to speed up the development of an experimental asthma drug.

According to Teva, one of the largest generic drug manufacturers in the world, the company has also struck a deal with investment group Abingworth for a $150 million fund to offset the drug program costs.

Launch Therapeutics will have the lead role in the operational execution and management of the planned clinical trials to progress Teva’s Dual-Action Asthma Rescue Inhaler (TEV-‘248) program.

Teva will retain primary responsibility for manufacturing, regulatory interactions in the US, and commercialisation, according to a statement.

‘Success payments’

If TEV-‘248 receives USFDA regulatory approval, Abingworth will be eligible to receive fixed payments as well as “success payments” based on sales.

Teva’s TEV-‘248 has the potential to be the first Dual-Action Asthma Rescue Inhaler combining an Inhaled Corticosteroid with a Short-Acting Beta-Agonist (ICS-SABA) for both adult and pediatric asthma indications, according to the statement.

Teva will recognise the funding as a reduction in research and development expenses and will retain full rights to the Company’s ICS/SABA program.

“As we execute our Pivot to Growth Strategy, we are focused on accelerating our late-stage innovative pipeline and delivering meaningful new therapies to people living with unmet medical needs,” said Eric Hughes, MD, PhD, Executive Vice President, Teva Global R&D and Chief Medical Officer.

Increased mortality

Short-acting beta-agonists (SABAs) are used for the treatment of asthma symptoms providing rapid relief.

The beta-agonists do not address the underlying inflammation, which can lead to overuse and poor clinical outcomes, including a correlation with increased mortality, according to the statement. 

“This evidence has led the Global Initiative for Asthma to stop recommending the use of SABA alone for patients with asthma. 

“Instead, combining SABA with Inhaled Corticosteroids (ICS) is safer and more effective, addressing both immediate symptoms and long-term inflammation, leading to improved asthma management, including a significant reduction in the risk of severe exacerbations (asthma attacks).”

Late-stage trials

Anshul Thakral, CEO of Launch Therapeutics said the pact would bridge Teva’s therapeutic expertise with his company’s clinical and operational expertise.

Teva’s albuterol/fluticasone combination (TEV-‘248) is currently in late-stage clinical trials to demonstrate a reduction in severe exacerbations compared to reliever treatment with SABA alone, and the airway relaxation effect of albuterol in the combination product.

Global investment firm Carlyle acquired Abingworth, a life sciences investment firm with approximately $2 billion in assets under management, in August 2022.

Together, they plan to operate across the full risk-return spectrum of life sciences and healthcare investing, from venture capital to buyouts.

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