* Lead compound completed Phase I studies
* To pay privately held TransTech $50 mln up front
NEW YORK, June 8 Forest Laboratories Inc
FRX.N has agreed to a licensing deal with privately held
TransTech Pharma Inc for rights to potential diabetes medicines
in early development.
Under the agreement announced on Tuesday, Forest will pay
TransTech $50 million up front. TransTech Pharma could receive
up to roughly $1.1 billion should the drugs reach various
development and commercial milestones.
TransTech Pharma retains the rights to the Middle East and
North Africa markets, while Forest receives exclusive rights to
the rest of the worldwide market, the companies said.
The portfolio licensed by Forest consists of a lead
compound, TTP399, which has completed Phase I studies and other
compounds in Phase I and preclinical stages of development.
They are from a class of glucose-lowering compounds known as
liver-selective Glucokinase Activators (GKAs).
Forest is seeking to build up its product pipeline to help
stem expected revenue losses when its big-selling Lexapro
anti-depressant loses U.S. patent protection in 2012.
(Reporting by Lewis Krauskopf, editing by Maureen Bavdek)