Every year, an estimated 15 million babies are born preterm. Organon, a global women’s health company spun out of Merck and ObsEva, a biopharmaceutical company dedicated to improving women’s reproductive health have now announced that the companies have entered into an agreement whereby Organon will license the global development, manufacturing and commercial rights to ebopiprant (OBE022). Ebopiprant is an investigational, orally active, selective prostaglandin F2α (PGF2α) receptor antagonist being evaluated as a potential treatment for preterm labor by reducing inflammation and uterine contractions. If approved, it has potential to be a first-in-class innovation for this common and serious condition with no approved therapies for acute treatment of preterm labor in the United States.
“This development-stage asset is being studied in one of the most crucial unmet needs for women globally. As we build Organon’s women’s health research and development portfolio, the agreement strengthens our path to long term growth,” said Kevin Ali, Organon’s Chief Executive Officer. “Organon and ObsEva share a commitment to improve the lives of women around the world. Through Organon’s strong development, scientific and medical capabilities, our goal is to change the future for millions of mothers and babies.”
Organon intends to work with the scientific and medical communities and regulatory authorities in major markets, including the United States, to advance the clinical development and registration of ebopiprant.
Brian O’Callaghan, CEO of ObsEva, commented, “Organon is the ideal partner for the development and commercialization of ebopiprant and we see this agreement as an important step in advancing this investigational agent. Although preterm birth rates are on the rise, there are currently no other known compounds in development. That is why we are focused on evaluating this agent in an important area of unmet need. Together with the data generated to date, this agreement underscores the value of our program, and we look forward to executing on our shared vision.”
Under the terms of the agreement, Organon will gain exclusive worldwide rights to develop and commercialize ebopiprant. ObsEva is entitled to receive tiered double-digit royalties on commercial sales as well as up to $500 million in upfront and milestone payments including $25 million to be paid at signing, up to $90 million in development and regulatory milestones and up to $385 million sales based milestones. Goldman Sachs acted as exclusive financial advisor to ObsEva.