LG Chem Exports the Technology of LB54640,
a Novel Rare Obesity Drug, to a U.S. company Rhythm Pharmaceuticals
■ Transfers development and sales rights to a global pharmaceutical company, securing an upfront payment of KRW 130 billion
- The contract, including development and commercialization milestones, is valued at around KRW 400 billion
LG Chem is advancing the commercialization prospects of its novel drug for patients suffering from serious appetite control disorders due to rare diseases.
On the 5th, LG Chem announced a contract with a U.S. company, Rhythm Pharmaceuticals (hereafter referred to as Rhythm), to transfer the global development and sales rights of its rare obesity drug LB54640.
Under the terms of the agreement, Rhythm has agreed to pay to LG Chem upfront payment of USD 100 million (approx. KRW 130 billion) and up to USD 205 million (approx. KRW 270 billion) upon achieving certain regulatory and sales milestones, totaling USD 305 million (approx. KRW 400 billion), as well as royalties.
Rare obesity syndrome is a serious condition often characterized by defects in specific genes like the Melanocortin-4 Receptor (MC4R), which is essential for appetite control. This leads to progressive obesity and challenges in normal social functioning, typically manifesting in childhood.
LB54640, a novel oral formulation targeting the MC4R pathway, has shown promising dose-dependent weight reduction and safety in Phase 1 trials. Following these results, a Phase 2 trial in the U.S. targeting rare obesity syndrome patients commenced in October of last year, and Rhythm plans to actively recruit participants for this ongoing trial.
LG Chem anticipates that this partnership will accelerate the development of LB54640, offering a more convenient treatment option for patients sooner.
Recruiting trial participants is a significant challenge in rare disease drug development due to the small patient population. The collaboration with Rhythm, which is already investing substantial resources in identifying potential patients, is expected to make development more efficient. Meanwhile, Rhythm will enhance its rare obesity drug portfolio, providing patients with a broader range of options.
Rhythm Pharmaceuticals, established in Boston, USA, in 2010 and listed on NASDAQ in 2017, has become a leader in the global rare obesity market by successfully developing and commercializing the world’s first MC4R agonist, IMCIVREE(active ingredient: Setmelanotide). The company is currently focused on expanding the application and sales regions of IMCIVREE and enhancing its expertise by developing new drug substances in the rare obesity field.
Jeewoong Son, President of Life Sciences Company at LG Chem, “Rhythm Pharmaceuticals is the ideal partner for the successful development of LB54640,” and added, “Through active collaboration, we will provide safer and more effective drugs in a timely manner to patients worldwide suffering from rare obesity syndrome.”
David Meeker, CEO and President of Rhythm Pharmaceuticals stated, “The Phase 1 results of LB54640 from LG Chem have shown the possibility of developing a highly safe drug,” and he expressed his commitment to “expanding the rare obesity drug portfolio to offer the best treatment options for each patient.”