Edison Pharmaceuticals of the USA has entered into a strategic alliance with Japan's Dainippon Sumitomo Pharma Co to develop drugs targeting cellular energy metabolism which they claim could be worth up to $4.30 billion.

Under the terms of the agreement, Dainippon will get rights in Japan and North America to jointly discover drugs in exchange for $10 million upfront and a $40 million R&D support payment. It will then fully fund the development of 10 treatments through investigational new drug filing and broaden its rights to EPI-589.

The latter, currently in Phase 1b trials, is a follow-on molecule to EPI-743, which is in Phase II studies for rare inherited mitochondrial diseases. In exchange, Edison will be eligible to receive between $30-$105 million per indication associated with successful development of EPI-589 up to $3.86 billion in milestone payments, plus double-digit royalties.

Dainippon will also invest $50 million in Edison and an additional $50 million between the first and fifth anniversaries of the initial equity closing. The firms first linked up last March and Dainippon chief scientific officer Hiroshi Naguchi said "the broadening of our partnership with Edison reflects the success we have had to date in our current collaborative development programs. Compelling data suggest that the mitochondria and redox regulation play a central role in a variety of disease mechanisms".