Japanese dermatology specialist Maruho Co. Ltd and drug discovery firm 4SC AG have terminated their development agreement related to 4SC’s blockers of Kv1.3 ion channels, which are required for maintenance of activation of T cells. 4SC reacquired all rights to the preclinical development programme, which was aimed at specifically calm down chronically stimulated memory T-cell populations with Kv1.3highIK-1low phenotype as a strategy to treat autoimmune diseases.
The companies gave no reasons for the end of their collaboration. 4SC’s CEO Jason Loveridge, however, said that “a good deal of progress has been made” in the three years of the collaboration. Under the terminated colloaboration, 4SC had granted Maruho the exclusive worldwide rights to develop and commercialise two classes of these blockers in exchange for US-$103 in milestones plus royalties.