US-based biopharmaceutical company MannKind has entered an exclusive licensing and collaboration agreement with United Therapeutics over a dry powder formulation of treprostinil.

Treprostinil is a vasodilator used for the treatment of pulmonary arterial hypertension.

Currently, the dry powder treprostinil formulation is being investigated in clinical trials. The worldwide agreement covers development and commercialisation of the product.

Under the terms of the deal, United Therapeutics will carry out development, regulatory and commercial activities globally.

MannKind will be responsible for the production of clinical and initial commercial supplies of the dry powder treprostinil at its facility in Connecticut, US.

United Therapeutics has agreed to manufacture the product’s long-term commercial supplies.

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MannKind CEO Michael Castagna said: “We are pleased with this new opportunity to demonstrate the value of our drug and device combination platform for delivering therapeutic products.

“This collaboration will have the potential to significantly improve the lives of people living with pulmonary arterial hypertension.”

“We believe this collaboration will have the potential to significantly improve the lives of people living with pulmonary arterial hypertension.”

As part of the agreement, MannKind will receive $45m upfront, followed by up to $50m in potential milestone payments based on reaching certain development targets.

The company is additionally eligible for royalties on net sales of the product.

MannKind provided United Therapeutics with an option to extend the licence to other active ingredients intended for treating pulmonary hypertension.

Each optioned product requires up to $40m in additional option exercise and development milestone payments, along with royalty on net sales.

The partners also signed a separate agreement in which MannKind will conduct research on behalf of United Therapeutics for products that do not fall under the scope of the licensing deal.

Under the research agreement, United Therapeutics will pay $10m in consideration to MannKind