Eli Lilly has signed an agreement to license exclusive global rights for non-opioid pain asset CNTX-0290 from biopharmaceutical company Centrexion Therapeutics.
Centrexion is developing non-addictive treatments for chronic pain. Its pipeline includes a topical gel, an injection and three oral therapies.
CNTX-0290 is a small molecule agonist of somatostatin receptor type 4 (SSTR4). It is currently undergoing Phase I clinical trials as a potential non-opioid therapy to treat chronic pain in inflammatory, neuropathic and mixed pain conditions.
Lilly pain and neurodegeneration research vice-president Mark Mintun said: “We are pleased to license this early phase molecule from Centrexion, and look forward to developing it further as a potential non-opioid treatment option for multiple pain conditions.”
As part of the deal, Lilly will pay an upfront payment of $47.5m to Centrexion, which is eligible for up to $575m in potential development and regulatory milestones.
If CNTX-0290 is successfully commercialised, Centrexion would be eligible for up to $375m in sales milestones and tiered royalties. The partners may choose to co-promote the asset in the US.
Centrexion Therapeutics CEO Jeffrey Kindler said: “This collaboration marks an important step for Centrexion in the progress of its pipeline and demonstrates our ability to identify promising early stage assets working at new targets for chronic pain and efficiently take them through to development.
“Lilly’s robust pain management portfolio and successful track record developing and commercialising novel therapies make them an ideal company to advance CNTX-0290.”
Lilly’s pipeline includes multiple compounds in various stages of clinical development.
Galcanezumab is being reviewed by regulatory authorities for the treatment of cluster headache, while Lilly is seeking approval for Lasmiditan in migraine patients.
The company is studying Tanezumab in Phase III trials for cancer pain, chronic lower back pain and osteoarthritic pain. In addition, a PACAP38 antibody is in Phase I development.