Johnson & Johnson group Janssen has picked up worldwide rights, excluding China and Korea, to develop and commercialise oxyntomodulin-based therapies from Hanmi Pharmaceutical, beefing up its metabolism portfolio.

The agreement gives J&J access to HM12525A, an oxyntomodulin-based GLP-1/glucagon receptor dual agonist that has shown evidence of improving multiple metabolic parameters that lead to improved blood glucose, body weight, and insulin sensitivity.  

This asset has the potential, as a once weekly therapy, to be a best-in-class oxyntomodulin-based therapy, J&J said, explaining its interest in the deal.

Hanmi says the move will speed up development of the drug, a novel biologic expected to enter Phase II studies next year. 

Under the terms of the deal, Janssen will pay Hanmi an upfront payment of $105 million, and could also bag up to $810 million in potential clinical development, regulatory and sales milestones. 

Also, if HM12525A makes it to market, Hanmi also stands to receive tiered double-digit royalty payments. 

The agreement is subject to clearance under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act and other customary closing conditions.