Theravance Biopharma Ireland has signed a global co-development and commercialisation deal with Janssen Biotech focusing on new treatments for inflammatory intestinal conditions, including ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease.

The Dublin, Ireland-headquartered group, a subsidiary of US firm Theravance Biopharma, will cash an upfront payment of $100 million and is also in line for up to an additional $900 million in potential payments, if Janssen elects to remain in the collaboration.

The companies plan to jointly develop and commercialise TD-1473 in inflammatory intestinal diseases, with the two companies sharing profits in the US and expenses related to a potential Phase III programme (67 percent to Janssen; 33 percent to Theravance Biopharma). Theravance Biopharma will receive double-digit tiered royalties on any ex-US sales.

TD-1473 is a novel, potent, orally administered and intestinally restricted pan-Janus kinase (JAK) inhibitor in clinical development. The drug differs from other oral JAK inhibitors in that it is specifically designed to act directly at the site of inflammation in the intestinal wall, thereby limiting systemic exposure, the firm notes.

“Internally, we have been very excited about the potential of TD-1473 to serve as a transformational medicine designed to offer the proven therapeutic activity of JAK inhibitors without the safety concerns associated with systemic JAK exposure.”

“We believe this transaction can accelerate the development of TD-1473 and maximise the potential value of the programme to Theravance Biopharma,” said Rick E Winningham, chairman and chief Executive of the Theravance Biopharma group.