A couple of weeks after saying it was looking for research partners, Lundbeck has signed an agreement with Kyowa Hakko Kirin Co of Japan focusing on Parkinson's disease.

The deal provides the Danish drugmaker with exclusive rights to develop and commercialise KW-6356, an adenosine A2a antagonist which is in the early stages of development. The specifics of the pact have not been disclosed but Kyowa Hakko Kirin will receive an upfront payment and development and commercial milestones, plus royalties.

Lundbeck will also have the right to other select drugs "as either back-up or additional indication compounds", while Kyowa Hakko Kirin will retain rights to the potential treatments in Japan and the Asian region. Lundbeck noted that adenosine A2a antagonists have "potential applications in a wide range of therapeutic indications, including Parkinson's disease".

The Copenhagen-headquartered group said the deal is consistent with its focus of providing new innovative medicines in the central nervous system field. Head of research Peter Andersen added that "we have high confidence in the potential of the compounds to become new drugs".

One of Lundbeck's key earners is the Parkinson's disease drug Azilect (rasagiline), which had second quarter 2010 sales of 267 million Danish kroner, up 42% on the like, year-earlier period.