Touchstone Innovations portfolio company Autifony Therapeutics Limited has signed an agreement with Boehringer Ingelheim about certain aspects of Autifony's voltage gated potassium channel modulator platform. Boehringer Ingelheim will pay Autifony a €25 million upfront fee, with the possibility of further payments of up to €17.5 million during the option period based on achievement of short term milestones.
Autifony is focused on the development of high value, novel medicines to treat serious diseases of the central nervous system. Boehringer Ingelheim now has an exclusive option to purchase Autifony's Kv3.1/3.2 positive modulator platform, including Autifony’s lead compound AUT00206. AUT00206 is an orally active small molecule that is currently being evaluated in two Phase Ib studies, including one in patients with schizophrenia.
The total potential transaction may sum up to €627.5 million upon reaching development and pre-commercialisation milestones once Boehringer Ingelheim has exercised its option.
Following the acquisition of Touchstone Innovations earlier in 2017, Autifony entered the IP Group portfolio. As a result, IP Group now holds a stake of 26.5% in Autifony.
Maina Bhaman, Director of Healthcare Ventures at Touchstone Innovations, said:
"This major collaboration with Boehringer Ingelheim is a strong validation of Autifony's proprietary platform and a testament to the progress made by the team since we first invested in December 2011. The collaboration and funding will enable the company to fully explore the mechanism behind its voltage gated potassium channel modulator platform and will hopefully lead to the development of a novel therapeutic approach for the treatment of a range of CNS disorders."
Dr. Charles Large, CEO of Autifony Therapeutics said:
"Autifony has pioneered the development of Kv3.1/3.2 modulators for the treatment of schizophrenia, Fragile X syndrome, and disorders of hearing. Our compounds have the potential to change the treatment paradigm for these disorders, and we welcome the opportunity to collaborate with Boehringer Ingelheim, who will bring valuable expertise and resources as we progress through the next phases of clinical and non-clinical development. We are also grateful for the support from Innovate UK's Biomedical Catalyst, which has enabled a highly successful collaboration between Autifony, the Universities of Manchester and Newcastle, and the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience at Kings College London."