C4XD, Manchester drug firm, sells rights to Indivior

Manchester-based drug discovery company C4X Discovery Holdings plc announced that Indivior will acquire the proprietary rights to C4XD’s oral Orexin-1 receptor antagonist C4X_3256 (INDV-2000) for substance use disorder for £15.95 million.

Indivior CEO Christian Heidbreder said: “The acquisition of full rights to INDV-2000 is aligned with our goal to build a strong and balanced pipeline focused on addiction treatments.

“Importantly, we know the asset well, having worked closely with C4X Discovery for more than five years.

“We recognie its exciting potential and will continue to progress it as a novel approach to the treatment of Opioid Use Disorder, as well as more broadly in substance use disorders.”

C4X Discovery said: “The completion of this non-dilutive strategic divestment forms part of C4XD’s evolution towards becoming an immuno-inflammatory therapeutics company.

“As indicated in C4XD’s April 2023 interim results, the company’s portfolio will focus on treatments for immuno-inflammatory diseases, including its lead small molecule α4β7 integrin inhibitor programme that aims to expand access to disease modifying treatments for patients with inflammatory bowel disease.

“The company believes it can deliver greater value for shareholders by progressing these programmes further and intends to advance the α4β7 programme towards the clinic and move two further immuno-inflammatory programmes into Lead Optimisation.

“Under the terms of the agreement, the previous license agreement announced on 29th March 2018 will be terminated and Indivior will assume all rights related to the development and use of C4X_3256 (INDV-2000) and related compounds.

“In 2019, Indivior received a $10.6 million grant for the development of C4X_3256 (INDV-2000) from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) HEAL (Helping to End Addiction Long-term) Initiative, which aims to improve prevention and treatment strategies for opioid misuse and addiction.

“Previously, C4X Discovery was eligible to receive potential milestone payments from Indivior that in aggregate could have reached a maximum of $284 million over time if all clinical development, regulatory and commercial goals were achieved, as well as royalties on net sales of C4X_3256 (INDV-2000).

“The Phase 1 multiple ascending dose (MAD) study is currently ongoing.”

C4X Discovery CBO Bhavna Hunjan added: “Indivior has made excellent progress with our Orexin-1 candidate, and we are proud that they now wish to take this programme fully in-house. 

“Their decision highlights the confidence they have in the programme and further underlines the power of our drug discovery expertise to produce valuable, commercially relevant, small-molecule drug candidates.

“The agreement also provides an opportunity for us to crystallise value for the programme early and underpins and accelerates our new strategy.

“This non-dilutive funding, alongside potential preclinical milestone payments from our licensing deals for C4XD immuno-inflammatory assets with Sanofi and AstraZeneca, will allow us to further advance our newly focused portfolio towards and into the clinic. 

“With our internal portfolio progressing well and partnering on our MALT-1 programme initiated, we look to a strong future as an immuno-inflammation therapeutics company.”