LG Chem to Transfer Obesity Drug Rights to Rhythm in $305 Million Transaction
LG Chem to Transfer Obesity Drug Rights to Rhythm in $305 Million Transaction

LG Chem to Transfer Obesity Drug Rights to Rhythm in $305 Million Transaction

  • 08-Jan-2024 5:46 PM
  • Journalist: Nina Jiang

LG Chem has announced a significant agreement with Boston-based Rhythm Pharmaceuticals, outlining the transfer of development and sales rights for a novel anti-obesity drug candidate, LB54640. The comprehensive deal, valued at $305 million, encompasses upfront payments totaling $100 million, along with milestone payments amounting to $205 million. These funds are designated for supporting the ongoing development and eventual commercialization of the anti-obesity drug.

In adherence to the terms of the agreement, LG Chem is set to receive royalties based on annual product sales from Rhythm Pharmaceuticals. LB54640, the focal point of this collaboration, addresses rare forms of obesity linked to genetic defects. Genetic anomalies in the satiety signaling gene MC4R (melanocortin-4 receptor) pathway can result in disruptions to appetite control, leading to persistent and severe obesity.

LB54640 functions as an orally-administered MC4R agonist, and promising results from its phase 1 trial have confirmed a dose-dependent trend in weight loss, along with satisfactory safety profiles. Building on these positive outcomes, the drug has progressed to the phase two clinical trial in the United States, with Rhythm Pharmaceuticals slated to assume control of the study.

Rhythm Pharmaceuticals, established in 2010, has notably developed and commercialized Imcivree, securing its status as the first FDA-approved MC4R agonist. The company has positioned itself as a key player in the field of rare obesity drug development.

LG Chem's decision to entrust Rhythm Pharmaceuticals with the further development of LB54640 is rooted in the belief that the Boston-based firm is well-suited for successfully advancing the drug. Son Jee-woong, head of LG Chem's life sciences division, expressed confidence in Rhythm Pharmaceuticals' capabilities and emphasized LG Chem's commitment to collaborating fully to bring safer and more effective drugs to individuals globally suffering from rare forms of obesity.

Rhythm Pharmaceuticals CEO David Meeker acknowledged LG Chem's pivotal role in providing phase 1 results that demonstrated the potential for developing LB54640 as a new drug with a high level of safety. Meeker expressed anticipation about expanding their rare obesity drug portfolio, aiming to offer optimal treatment options for patients.

This collaboration represents a significant stride in addressing the complexities of rare forms of obesity through innovative drug development. The agreement not only showcases the commitment of both LG Chem and Rhythm Pharmaceuticals to advancing medical solutions but also underscores the potential impact of LB54640 in addressing unmet medical needs for individuals grappling with rare genetic-related obesity.

As LG Chem and Rhythm Pharmaceuticals move forward with their collaboration, the focus remains on advancing LB54640 through clinical trials and ultimately delivering a novel therapeutic option that holds the promise of improving the lives of individuals affected by rare forms of obesity.

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