DURHAM – BioCryst Pharmaceuticals has struck a licensing deal with a Georgia based company for a treatment targeting vision loss among those suffering diabetic macular edema, or DME.

Clearside Biomedical will receive $5 million up front plus up to $30 million in milestone payments and another $47.5 million in milestones based on treatment approval and sales “as annual global net sales progress to $2 billion,” BioCryst said. Royalties also will be paid, BioCryst said.

Clearside is based in Alpharetta, Ga.

The deal was announced Friday.

The treatment involves BioCryst’s “investigational plasma kallikrein inhibitor, avoralstat, with Clearside’s SCS Microinjector to deliver avoralstat directly to the back of the eye.”

“Our collaboration provides an opportunity for us to advance the development of avoralstat into a proof-of-concept trial as a potential best-in-class medicine that can offer new hope to patients living with DME,” said Jon Stonehouse, chief executive officer of BioCryst.

BioCryst noted “avoralstat was previously evaluated in an oral formulation in a Phase 3 clinical trial in patients with hereditary angioedema (HAE). It failed in 2016 testing, reported Fierce Biotech.

Bigger pipeline for development

BioCryst also announced a bigger pipeline of potential products at its “R&D” day.

“The success we are achieving with ORLADEYO [sales climbing toward $1 billion, the company says] demonstrates that when we deliver a first-in-class or best-in-class medicine, we can change patients’ lives. The focus of our discovery efforts is to leverage our 30-plus years of experience to bring more first-in-class or best-in-class medicines to patients living with complement-mediated and other rare diseases. The team is excited to share our approach, and our expanded pipeline of new programs, at our R&D Day,” Stonehouse said.

“We have significantly diversified our pipeline and we continue to be disciplined around decisions to invest further only when a program meets the high bar we have set of first-in-class or best-in-class. We believe the combination of ORLADEYO, our exciting pipeline and our financial strength, position us to continue to make a big difference in patients’ lives, and that leads to sustainable growth for years to come,” Stonehouse added.

Durham pharma BioCryst to unveil bigger pipeline; its top product drives more sales