News

BIAL Goes Global with New US Research Center and Acquisition of Promising Parkinson's Disease Programs

01 October, 2020
  • BIAL Biotech to be based in Cambridge, Massachusetts and will be a Research Center of Excellence dedicated to genetically-defined Parkinson’s disease
  • LTI-291 clinical program and other research programs in Parkinson's disease acquired from Lysosomal Therapeutics, Inc
  • R&D team led by Peter Lansbury, professor of neurology at Harvard Medical School
  • Investment may add up to 130 million dollars depending on the accomplishment of downstream development, and several regulatory and commercial milestones

Porto / Cambridge, Mass, October 1, 2020 – BIAL, a pharmaceutical company based in Portugal with locations across Europe and dedicated to R&D in CNS diseases, announced today that it has established a new affiliate in the United States of America, BIAL Biotech Investments Inc. (BIAL Biotech). This new research center focused on genetically-defined Parkinson’s disease is based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, a prominent biotech hub in the world.

Simultaneously, BIAL announced that it has acquired worldwide rights of LTI-291 and all the Parkinson’s disease research programs of Lysosomal Therapeutics Inc. (LTI) and taken on the entire R&D team.

António Portela, executive president of BIAL, reveals “Our entry into the US with the creation of BIAL Biotech and the acquisition of the promising programs from LTI, is a decisive step towards the fulfilment of our mission to contribute to improving the quality of life of people worldwide. The development of this new research center in the US, is a landmark of enormous relevance for us. We are investing in science and research, through our direct presence in one of the most important research hubs in the world and in one of the most promising areas of medicine”.

This acquisition not only provides the company with a pipeline of new product candidates in Parkinson’s disease but also an experienced R&D team, led by Peter Lansbury, professor of neurology at Harvard Medical School and a recognized thought leader in the field of neurodegenerative diseases.

With this acquisition, BIAL is expanding its pipeline, namely with the integration of new compounds in neurodegeneration already in clinical development, specifically for Parkinson's disease, where the pharmaceutical company already has a significant market position.

The executive president of BIAL also points out: “The compounds we’ve acquired are based on genetics, a new field of research for us. The lead asset, which now has the code name 'BIA 28-6156/LTI-291', has an innovative mechanism of action and presents the potential of being a first disease-modifying therapy for a genetic subset of Parkinson’s disease. It has successfully completed a Phase I trial program and should be ready to start Phase II studies in 2021. We´re progressing from symptomatic treatment to an intervention in the mechanisms of the disease, which is very exciting for BIAL”.

“We are happy to be part of BIAL and take the lead on the growth story in the US” says Kees Been, former CEO of LTI and now CEO of BIAL Biotech. "With the commitment and resources of BIAL we will be able to accelerate our novel clinical and research programs as targeted and personalized treatment approaches for genetically-defined PD patients”.

On behalf of the LTI shareholders, I want to express our enthusiastic endorsement of BIAL as a good home for the programs of LTI”, said Clay B. Thorp, General Partner, Hatteras Venture Partners, “This deal is a perfect fit and we have great confidence that the team, with the resources and commitment of BIAL, will advance LTI-291 and the other compounds rapidly to patients to treat this debilitating form of Parkinson’s disease.

BIA 28-6156 / LTI-291 is a drug compound aimed at treating patients with GBA-Associated Parkinson’s diseases (GBA-PD) caused by an underlying mutation in the GBA1 gene. This genetic mutation affects approximately 10% to 15% of Parkinson’s disease patients (100,000-150,000 patients in the US) and is a validated risk factor that generally leads to an earlier age of disease onset and more rapid disease progression.

In addition to an upfront payment, the total value of the deal could reach up to 130 million dollars, based on attainment of a series of milestone payments as the assets progress through the clinic and into the market. Other financial terms will not be disclosed.

 

About BIAL Biotech

BIAL Biotech is a Center of Excellence for the development of genetically-defined Parkinson’s disease therapeutics located in the heart of the Boston biotech cluster.  BIAL Biotech is a wholly owned subsidiary of BIAL, a pharmaceutical company based in Portugal with locations across Europe.