Assembly Biosciences Deal Worth at Least $50M

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Assembly Biosciences is based in Carmel and has a research and development presence in Bloomington and San Francisco. Assembly Biosciences is based in Carmel and has a research and development presence in Bloomington and San Francisco.

An international pharmaceutical company has reached an agreement with Assembly Biosciences Inc. (Nasdaq: ASMB) in Carmel involving several compounds to treat gastrointestinal problems. The deal with Ireland-based Allergan PLC (NYSE: AGN) involves research, development and licensing. Assembly will receive $50 million upfront, as well as additional funds for reaching milestones and potential royalties on sales.

The agreement includes worldwide rights to preclinical compounds that target ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease. It also involves two yet-to-be identified compounds for Irritable Bowel Syndrome with various symptoms. The companies will share development costs along the way and Allergan will eventually assume all development costs following the proof-of-concept study process.

Allergan Chief R&D Officer David Nicholson says "the Microbiome -- the microbial populations that colonize the human body -- is rapidly gaining prominence in numerous fields of research relevant to Allergan's key areas of focus, including GI disorders. Assembly is well positioned to identify and select unique therapeutic candidates and deliver them to the optimal site in the GI tract through a novel oral delivery system."

Assembly Chief Executive Officer Derek Small says "our fully-integrated microbiome platform reflects Assembly's commitment as one of the leaders in the exciting new field of microbiome therapeutics, which has the potential to address a range of diseases in entirely new ways. We are delighted to enter into this collaboration with Allergan, an innovator in GI, as we work together to realize the potential of microbiome therapies and provide treatments to patients with serious GI disorders."

The deal is expected to close in the first quarter.

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