Chicago-based biotech Xentria announced this week that it has signed a multi-year licensing agreement with Meitheal Pharmaceuticals to commercialize its lead candidate and a novel biologic, XTMAB-16, for the treatment of pulmonary sarcoidosis in the United States.
Under the agreement, Xentria will receive an initial payment of $45 million, with the potential for an additional amount of up to $35 million upon regulatory submission and approval of XTMAB-16. XTMAB-16, an anti-TNFα monoclonal antibody, is scheduled for Phase 2 clinical trials later this year. The trials aim to assess its efficacy in reducing the inflammatory response observed in patients with pulmonary sarcoidosis, a chronic, multisystem inflammatory disorder that is more prevalent in women and African Americans.
The drug was granted Orphan Drug Designation in November of 2020, and a Phase 1 clinical trial involving healthy volunteers was completed in 2022. Currently, there are no approved TNFα inhibitors for sarcoidosis. Extensive studies have been conducted on the properties and pharmacology of XTMAB-16 as a TNFα inhibitor, and ongoing clinical studies are investigating its effects.
Additionally, milestone-based royalties could reach over $600 million throughout the agreement's duration. Once $600 million in royalty payments is achieved, the intellectual property associated with XTMAB-16 will transfer to Meitheal's parent company, Hong-Kong King Friend Industry Co.