Ipsen, Skyhawk ink $1.8B neurological RNA modulator deal

April 22, 2024

Ipsen and Skyhawk Therapeutics have partnered to develop small molecules that modulate RNA for rare neurological diseases.

The agreement grants the French drugmaker an option to acquire exclusive global rights to develop two candidates identified through the collaboration. In exchange, Boston-based Skyhawk could receive up to $1.8 billion in payments, covering development, regulatory milestones, and sales, along with an upfront payment and potential royalties.

Upon validation of the development candidates, Ipsen will manage their further development and commercialization, utilizing its expertise in neuroscience. Skyhawk’s technology enables targeting of RNA with small molecules, broadening the range of potential therapeutic targets.

Earlier this month, Ipsen also inked a potential $900 million global licensing agreement with Sutro Biopharma for an antibody-drug conjugate, STRO-003, in the final stages of preclinical development. This marks Ipsen's first acquisition of an ADC candidate, which targets the ROR1 tumor antigen, prevalent in various cancer types including solid tumors and hematological malignancies.

The recent deals follow Ipsen's oncology success in February when the FDA approved its liposomal topoisomerase inhibitor, Onivyde, in combination with other drugs, as a first-line treatment for metastatic pancreatic adenocarcinoma.