Local Tech Wire

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. – Venture capital-backed has laned its second major partnership deal in seven months for its small molecule technology and potential drug pipeline.

The RTP-based firm said Wednesday it has signed a deal worth as much as $158 million with European pharmaceutical firm Norgine B.V. for development of a treatment targeting diseases of the muscles of the gastrointestinal track – called gastrointestinal dysmotility – in acute care conditions.

Tranzyme receives a $8 million upfront payment as part of the deal plus as much as $150 million based on achievement of development, regulatory and commercial milestones. Tranzyme also will receive double-digit royalties on future sales.

The compound under development, called ghrelin agonist ulimorelin (TZP-101), is entering Phase III clinical trials. It is Tranzyme’s lead product.

The Norgine agreement covers commercialization in Europe, the Middle East, and other select countries.

“Norgine’s focus on pharmaceutical products that address unmet medical needs, and their development and commercial experience and expertise in European markets, make them an ideal strategic and co-development partner for Tranzyme,” said Vipin Garg, Tranzyme’s chief executive officer. “This partnership allows us to monetize part of the value of ulimorelin, while still retaining the significant upside of North American and Asian markets.”

In December, Tranzyme struck a deal with Bristol-Myers Squibb potentially worth hundreds of millions of dollars. Tranzyme has won several patents for its technology that targets internal disorders, such as gastroparesis (weak stomach) and post-operative ileus (POI), or blockage of the intestine with its own drug candidates/

Tranzyme investors include H.I.G. Ventures, Quaker BioVentures and Thomas, McNerney & Partners and others.

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