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BIAL licenses a new medicine for Parkinson's disease

Opicapone, the second product researched by BIAL, will be developed and commercialized in Japan by ONO

BIAL has signed an exclusive license agreement with the Japanese company Ono Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. (“ONO”) for the development and commercialization in Japan of a new treatment for Parkinson's disease, Opicapone (codename BIA 9-1067).

Following the commercialization of Zebinix® (eslicarbazepine acetate) for the treatment of epilepsy, now available in most European markets, this is the second product researched by BIAL to be licensed. This is the first time the company accomplishes a license agreement for Japan which is the third largest pharmaceutical market after the U.S.A and the European Union.

According to António Portela, CEO of BIAL, “this is an historic and significant moment for BIAL which brings a great satisfaction to all our team. We have been capable of creating and developing a second medicine from our own research, confirming our scientific and technical capabilities and creating confidence in the sustainability of our R&D project”. He also adds that “after this license for the Japanese market, we shall focus on finding the right partners in the U.S. and in Europe.”

Under the License Agreement, ONO will pay BIAL an upfront fee and development and sales milestones based on the development stage and sales performance of Opicapone.

Opicapone is in phase III clinical trials (confirmatory tests designed to prove the efficacy, determine tolerability and safety of the future medicine). It is being developed as an adjunctive therapy to levodopa, a drug which is considered to offer the most effective symptomatic treatment of Parkinson's disease. Following completion of phase III Opicapone will be submitted for registration with the regulatory authorities and subsequent approval for marketing authorization.

Read more at BIAL's website (here).


(BIAL, 18 April 2013)