AbbVie, Ipsen bail on Exicure R&D deals

Dec. 15, 2022

Exicure announced the termination of both its development-based collaboration agreements — one with AbbVie and one with Ipsen BioPharm.

The Ipsen deal, signed back in July 2021, focused on developing SNA-based treatments in neuroscience, targeting Huntington’s Disease and Angelman Syndrome. The partnership combined Exicure’s differentiated SNA platform for hard-to-drug targets requiring deep brain penetration and persistence with Ipsen’s expertise in neuroscience and rare diseases.

The collab with AbbVie (at the time, Allergan) was inked back in Nov. 2019. The partnership focused on developing SNA-based treatments for hair loss disorders. 

Exicure put a hopeful spin on the termination of both deals, pointing out that it now has regained the ability to independently develop medicines targeting hair loss disorders, Angelman syndrome and Huntington’s disease, and also that Ipsen still has the right to re-enter into the collaboration.

But despite the positive outlook, its been rough goings for the Chicago-based biotech. The news comes about a month after the company warned of potential bankruptcy in its third quarter financial report, stating that there was a "significant likelihood that, without the consummation of the Private Placement, the Company will need to seek bankruptcy protection in the near term."

Last Dec., the company was forced to cut its workforce in half and reprioritize aspects of its pipeline, after an internal investigation found that its head of Neuroscience misreported data from certain research and development experiments related to XCUR-FXN, an investigational treatment for Friedreich’s ataxia.