Ipsen has granted a licence to the USA’s Rhythm Pharmaceuticals to take over two of its metabolic disorders.

The deal covers Ipsen’s peptide therapeutics targeting obesity, metabolic diseases and gastrointestinal disorders. Specifically, Rhythm is getting access to the French firm’s ghrelin agonists - potential treatments for disorders such as postoperative ileus and diabetic gastroparesis – and melanocyte-stimulating hormone agonists, which target the melanocortin-4 (MC4) receptor.

Cashwise, Ipsen will receive up to $80 million in milestone payments and royalties on future sales of the products. It is also acquiring a 17% stake in the Boston, Massachusetts-based biotech, giving the firm one seat on Rhythm’s board of directors.

Explaining the rationale behind the deal, Stephane Thiroloix, head of corporate development at Ipsen, said the area of metabolic diseases is “outside of our core strategic focus” so Rhythm is better placed to “rapidly transform these important discoveries into valuable medical treatments”.