Jazz obtains development and commercialisation rights in the US, Europe and other territories, while Sumitomo Pharma retains rights in Japan, China and other Asia-Pacific territories


Jazz, Sumitomo signs exclusive license agreement. (Credit: Julia Koblitz on Unsplash)

Irish biopharmaceutical company Jazz Pharmaceuticals has signed an exclusive licensing agreement with Japanese pharmaceutical company Sumitomo Pharma, worth up to $1bn.

Under the terms of the agreement, Jazz has obtained an exclusive license to develop and market Sumitomo Pharma’s investigational drug DSP-0187, in the US, Europe and other territories.

DSP-0187 is a highly selective oral orexin-2 receptor agonist designed to activate orexin signalling and can be used to treat narcolepsy, idiopathic hypersomnia and other sleep disorders.

Sumitomo Pharma will retain all the rights to develop and commercialise the drug in Japan, China and certain other Asia-Pacific countries and regions.

The Japanese drugmaker is eligible to receive an upfront payment of $50m, along with development, regulatory and commercial milestone payments totalling up to $1.09bn.

In addition, the company is expected to receive a tiered, low double-digit royalty on the net sales of DSP-0187, after receiving regulatory approval.

Jazz Pharmaceuticals research and development global head Rob Iannone said: “Orexin agonism is an exciting area of sleep disorder research and an approach that may be complementary to oxybate therapy.

“This agreement exemplifies both our ability to identify promising compounds that have the potential to improve patient care and our corporate objective of making strategic, value-creating investments in our pipeline.”

Sumitomo Pharma has conducted a Phase 1 study of DSP-0187 in Japan last year, to assess its safety, tolerability and pharmacokinetics in healthy volunteers.

Jazz intends to use the clinical findings to advance the development of DSP-0187 and has designated the drug as JZP441.

The drug is initially planned to be assessed for narcolepsy, a severe sleep disorder similar to cataplexy, excessive daytime sleepiness (EDS), disrupted night-time sleep (DNS), sleep paralysis and other symptoms.

Sumitomo Pharma representative director Toru Kimura said: “DSP-0187 is a potent, highly selective oral orexin-2 receptor agonist, which is a novel small molecule compound originally created by Sumitomo Pharma by utilizing our advanced expertise in drug discovery for central nervous system disorders.

“We are pleased to partner with Jazz on DSP-0187 given their strong track record of development success and commercial execution in sleep disorders and long-term commitment to advancing therapies to improve the lives of people with sleep disorders.”