Arrowhead Pharmaceuticals and Horizon Therapeutics have signed an international collaboration and licensing agreement for an un-revealed, discovery-phase, experimental RNAi (RNA interference) drug ARO-XDH, which has been developed by Arrowhead Pharmaceuticals for the treatment of uncontrolled gout in patients.
Gout is a severe and painful form of inflammatory disorder caused by excessive accumulation of uric acid in the body. Over 9 million people are suffering from gout in the United States, and about a third of them are taking oral medications to reduce the levels of uric acid. However, a significant number of individuals have failed to respond to the treatment and hence continue to suffer from excruciating and distressing gout symptoms.
The principal source of sUA (serum uric acid) is XDH, a clinically validated target. If left undiagnosed or untreated, the elevated levels of serum uric acid can cause substantial long-term or irreversible damage to joints, bones, and organs.
Arrowhead will manage all activities related to the preclinical development of siRNA medication as per the terms of the agreement. Horizon will be granted an exclusive worldwide license and will be solely responsible for the development and marketing of the drug.
Arrowhead will receive an upfront payment of $40 million from Horizon, with the possibility of receiving up to $660 on achieving certain research and development, regulatory, and marketing milestones, as well as royalty payments on total product sales.
“We believe Horizon’s expertise in the clinical development and commercialization of therapies for gout makes them an ideal partner. We look forward to working closely with Horizon as we advance this potential new therapy for patients in need,” said Christopher Anzalone, Ph.D., CEO, and President of Arrowhead.