Pfizer and Wave Life Sciences in Metabolic Diseases Pact

11.05.2016 -

Pfizer has entered into an agreement with Wave Life Sciences to develop and commercialize nucleic acid therapies for metabolic diseases. The collaboration, potentially worth more than $900 million, will focus on genetically defined targets and combine Wave’s stereopure drug development platform with Pfizer’s hepatic targeting technology for enhanced deliver to the liver.

“By working together to develop unique, proprietary technologies emerging from both companies, we will explore new liver-targeted approaches to address the cause of genetically defined diseases and interrupt the progression of complex, metabolic disorders,” said Morris Birnbaum, senior vice president and chief scientific officer of Pfizer’s cardiovascular & metabolic research unit.

Wave will advance up to five programs from discovery through to the selection of clinical candidates, at which point Pfizer may elect to exclusively license them and undertake further development and potential commercialization. Two targets have already been declared, including Wave’s Apolipoprotein C-III program. The the remaining targets are to be declared within eighteen months.

The firm has also has received rights to Pfizer's hepatic targeting technology, which Wave may use for programs outside the agreement. In this case, Pfizer would receive potential development and commercial milestone payments as well as sales royalties.

Under the terms of the deal, Pfizer will pay $40 million upfront, which includes an equity investment of $30 million in Wave. In addition, if five potential products are successfully commercialized, Wave could earn up to $871 million in potential research, development and commercial milestone payments plus royalties tiered up to low double-digits.

President and CEO of Wave Life Sciences, Paul Bolno, said the alliance was consistent with its strategy to build and advance a portfolio of medicines for neurological and neuromuscular diseases. He expected that the upfront payment, together with existing cash, would fund Wave’s operating and capital expenditure requirements into 2019.