Ipsen, Skyhawk to collaborate on drug discovery for rare neurological disorders

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Biopharmaceutical company Ipsen and clinical-stage biopharmaceutical firm Skyhawk have signed an exclusive collaboration to discover and develop small molecule therapeutics targeting RNA to treat rare neurological disorders.

Under the agreement, Paris-based Ipsen will have the option to have exclusive global rights to develop two successful candidate molecules. Following the determination of the candidates, Ipsen will undertake all further development and commercialization, the firms said in a statement.

Under the terms of the agreement, Skyhawk, which has headquarters in Waltham, MA, is eligible to receive up to $1.8 billion, including an upfront payment, as well as development, regulatory, and commercial milestones, in addition to the potential for tiered royalties.

Skyhawk's proprietary drug-discovery platform builds RNA-targeting small molecule drug candidates across several different therapeutic areas, including neurological diseases. Skyhawk says that its technology, which integrates four distinct data sets, accelerates the development of therapeutics with the potential to address conditions previously considered "undruggable."

"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," said Steve Glyman, senior vice president and head of neuroscience, research and development at Ipsen. 

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