Teva snares up to $150M in Abingworth funding to propel late-stage asthma rescue inhaler

Shortly after Gilead Sciences teamed up with Carlyle’s Abingworth to fuel further research on its antibody-drug conjugate Trodelvy, Teva is following a similar pathway with an asthma rescue inhaler.

Monday, Teva and Abingworth revealed that they have entered a clinical collaboration agreement to advance TEV-’248, a dual-action combination of an inhaled corticosteroid and a short-acting beta-agonist (ICS/SABA). In a release, the companies said the prospect could become the first ICS/SABA for both the adult and pediatric patient population. 

The treatment combines fluticasone propionate and albuterol sulfate and is delivered through Teva's breath-activated, multi-dose dry powder inhaler. The drug is currently in late-stage testing.

Under the deal, Abingworth will provide Teva with up to $150 million to offset R&D costs for the program. Launch Therapeutics, a development company backed by Abingworth and Carlyle, will take charge of executing clinical trials.

Teva, for its part, will continue to be in charge of manufacturing, regulatory interactions and potential commercialization, the companies said.

If the drug wins FDA approval, Abingworth will be eligible for fixed payments and royalties based on sales.

The deal comes as Teva works to implement CEO Richard Francis' "Pivot to Growth" strategy. Under the program, the company is emphasizing its pipeline and business development to reduce reliance on generics. Last year, Teva delivered a 6% increase in sales, flipping the script after several years of declines.

As for Abingworth, the biopharma investment firm recently entered a similar arrangement with Gilead Sciences. In late February, Abingworth teamed up with Gilead to offer up to $210 million to fund further development on Trodelvy. Abingworth could be in line for fixed and royalty payments based on future success of the drug in non-small cell lung cancer.

That deal came after a clinical setback for the drug and will help Gilead shoulder costs and financial risks for further development. Launch Therapeutics is involved in that partnership, as well.

Before that, in August 2022, Launch made its debut as part of a partnership that sought to advance Opthera’s wet age-related macular degeneration candidate.