Investors on Wall Street have responded positively to a recent US collaboration, development, and license agreement established by the Vectura Group, a respiratory product development company, for the development of its clinical stage asthma mono therapy, VR506, which is administered using Vectura’s proprietary drug delivery technology. The agreement for VR506 involves Vectura’s existing, undisclosed US partner for VR315, a combination therapy for asthma and COPD.
VR315 features the combination of salmeterol, a long-acting adrenergic receptor beta 2 agonist (LABA), and fluticasone, an inhaled corticosteroid, which is delivered via Vectura’s GyroHaler dry powder inhaler. Its mechanism of action is an adrenergic receptor beta 2 (ADRB2) agonist. The company sees the salmeterol/fluticasone-based therapy as a viable treatment for Asthma and COPD, while VR506, an inhaled corticosteroid (ICS) treatment indicated solely for Asthma, has similarly progressed through clinical studies, having entered testing in the first half of 2011. VR506 is now available for licensing on a worldwide basis, and both VR506 and VR315 are now in the full development process.
While Vectura will remain responsible for the US development of VR506, its unnamed partner will remain in charge of the commercialization and manufacture of the product together with clinical development, according to the settlement terms. The company expects that the agreement will work as a launch ramp of the asthma and COPD mono therapy in the American market.
“This is an important step for the development of VR506 for the potentially lucrative US market and it extends the successful collaboration with our established US partner. This provides additional third party validation of the progress we have made to date and is a major endorsement of the potential value of this product,” added Blackwell.
Vectura will receive between $4 million as an initial payment, and up to $8 million upon achievement of pre-determined development milestones, as part of the agreement. In case of program progression, further development fees may also be payed to Vectura, beyond a pre-defined milestone, as well as the distribution of a royalty from all VR506 US sales.