Drug Research
Drug Discovery & Development

Allergan exercises option to buy Motus Therapeutics

PBR Staff Writer Published 28 October 2016

Allergan has exercised its option to acquire Motus Therapeutics, a biopharmaceutical firm engaged in the development of peptide therapeutics to treat gastrointestinal (GI) diseases.

Motus is a subsidiary of Rhythm Holding, which also owns Rhythm Pharmaceuticals.

The acquisition will include Motus’ lead drug candidate relamorelin (RM-131), a ghrelin agonist being developed for diabetic gastroparesis.

The news coincides with the release of top line results from the phase 2b clinical trial that looked at the efficacy and safety of relamorelin to treat gastroparesis in about 400 patients with type 1 and type 2 diabetes.

Relamorelin demonstrated substantial efficacy in relieving key diabetic gastroparesis symptoms of nausea, postprandial fullness, abdominal pain, and bloating, along with a potent prokinetic effect on gastric motility, after 12 weeks of treatment.

In the primary endpoint, patients receiving relamorelin experienced nearly 75% reduction in vomiting frequency across all doses compared to baseline, an effect similar to that seen in a Phase IIa trial.

Allergan agreed to pay $200m upon closing of the acquisition, which is expected to take place by the end of this year.

Rhythm will also receive an additional payment tied to the first commercial sale of relamorelin.

Allergan earlier made $47m in payments related to the option-to-buy Motus and the relamorelin phase 2b trial.

Allergan executive vice president of global research and development David Nicholson said: "The clinical results with relamorelin in this Phase 2b trial in diabetic gastroparesis are very encouraging. 

“Based on these results and the results observed in the earlier phase 2a trial, Allergan has exercised its option to acquire Motus Therapeutics and intends to initiate Phase 3 clinical trials of relamorelin.”