France-based pharmaceutical research company Servier has partnered with Intarcia Therapeutics to develop and commercialise its ITCA 650, outside the US and Japan.
ITCA 650 is Intarcia's investigational therapy for the treatment of type 2 diabetes. The company is currently carrying out a Phase III clinical trial programme, Freedom, for ITCA 650.
As part of the deal, Intarcia will receive an upfront payment and total potential development, regulatory and sales milestone payments of $1bn.
Intarcia Therapeutics president Kurt Graves said: "As one of the largest ex-US partnering deals ever in the biotechnology industry, our collaboration with Servier is yet another major milestone in a series of significant achievements over the last few years that are truly transformational for Intarcia and our stakeholders."
The payments will include $401m near-term with an upfront payment of $171m and three early stage regulatory milestones of $230m, as well as $650m in additional development, regulatory and sales milestones.
In addition, Intarcia will receive ex-US/Japan tiered sales-related payments.
The ITCA 650 will include Intarcia's technology platform, involving a matchstick-size, miniature osmotic pump that is placed sub-dermally to offer continuous and consistent drug therapy.
It also features the firm's formulation technology, which maintains stability of therapeutic proteins and peptides at human body temperatures for extended periods of time.
Exenatide, the active agent in ITCA 650, is a glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor agonist, marketed worldwide as twice-daily and once-weekly self-injection therapies for type 2 diabetes.
ITCA 650 will be the first injection-free GLP-1 therapy that can deliver up to a full year of treatment from a single placement, once it receives approval.