Ipsen has entered an exclusive global collaboration with Skyhawk Therapeutics for the discovery and development of new small molecules that can modulate ribonucleic acid (RNA) for treating rare neurological disorders.

Ipsen will have the option to acquire sole global licensing rights for developing two successful development candidates (DC).

Upon successful DC nomination, Ipsen will assume all subsequent development and commercialisation activities.

The company plans to draw on its existing neuroscience expertise, particularly in movement disorders, to advance these potential therapies.

Skyhawk has a platform known for its ability to rapidly generate RNA-targeting small molecules for several therapeutic areas, including rare neurological conditions.

This technology will facilitate the company to investigate RNA targets that were previously considered undruggable, thereby broadening the scope of potential disease targets.

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Under the deal, Skyhawk is eligible to receive up to $1.8bn in payments tied to meeting development, regulatory, and commercial milestones.

Additionally, the deal involves an upfront payment for the option and research partnership, as well as tiered royalty payments in the future.

Ipsen Neuroscience, Research & Development SVP and head Steve Glyman said: “We are delighted to join forces with the expert teams at Skyhawk, as we explore the potential for modifying RNA expression across rare and debilitating neurological conditions.

“Our focus and expertise in movement disorders, and across our portfolio, is bringing best and first-in-class treatments to those with the highest unmet needs, now further fuelled by this novel platform at the cutting-edge of research.”

Recently, Ipsen signed a global licensing agreement with Sutro Biopharma for the development of the latter’s antibody-drug conjugates STRO-003  for the treatment of solid tumours.