Sarepta, Summit Therapeutics enter licensing deal for Duchenne muscular dystrophy drugs

Sarepta Therapeutics gained rights in Europe, as well as in Turkey and the Commonwealth of Independent States, to Summit Therapeutics' utrophin modulator pipeline, including the lead clinical candidate ezutromid, for the treatment of Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD), the companies said Tuesday. Under the deal, Summit will receive a $40 million upfront payment from Sarepta, in addition to milestone payments of up to $192 million related to ezutromid. Shares in Summit jumped as much as more than 50 percent on the news.

Further, Summit is eligible to receive up to $290 million in milestone payments linked to second-generation and future generation small-molecule utrophin modulators, as well as up to $330 million in specified sales milestones on a product-by-product basis. The companies noted that Sarepta also received an option to licence Summit's utrophin modulator pipeline in Latin America.

The drugmakers will split specified utrophin modulator-related R&D costs, with Summit being responsible for 55 percent of the expenses, starting in 2018. Moreover, if Sarepta exercises its option for Latin American rights, then Summit will be eligible for further fees, milestones and royalties. 

Edward Kaye, CEO of Sarepta, remarked "Summit's utrophin modulation technology represents a potentially promising approach to treat DMD, which may complement our current approach of exon skipping therapy." 

Last month, the FDA awarded accelerated approval to Sarepta's Exondys 51 (eteplirsen), marking the first approval of a DMD drug in the US. For related analysis, see KOL Views: Regulatory expert sounds off on the FDA’s controversial decision to approve Sarepta's Exondys 51


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