Abbott has signed a collaboration agreement with Reata Pharmaceuticals to develop and commercialise Reata’s portfolio of second-generation oral antioxidant inflammation modulators.

Antioxidant inflammation modulators activate transcription factor Nrf2, which in turn inhibits NF-?B, a transcription factor that is associated with chronic diseases such as multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, chronic kidney disease, neurodegenerative disease and chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder.

The collaboration agreement includes a range of molecules in a variety of therapeutic areas, such as pulmonary, central nervous system disorders and immunology.

Under the deal, Abbott and Reata will equally share costs and profits for all new antioxidant inflammation modulators in all newly licensed indications, except for rheumatoid arthritis and some other autoimmune diseases, in which Abbott will take 70% of costs and profits and Reata will take 30%.

In September 2010, both companies also entered into a deal in which Reata granted Abbott exclusive rights to develop and commercialise lead compound bardoxolone methyl outside of the US, except in certain Asian markets.

John Leonard, Abbott’s senior vice-president of R&D, said that the collaboration allows Abbott to advance its promising research pipeline across multiple therapeutic areas.

"Accumulating data has established the potential for antioxidant inflammation modulators in neuroscience and immunology, and we look forward to expanding our knowledge through further research," Leonard added.

Reata Pharmaceuticals CEO Warren Huff said the collaboration will help Reata to advance new molecules into clinical development, and allows the company to establish a global commercial presence.

As per the agreement, Abbott will pay $400m to Reata, and both companies plan for the first compound in this partnership to enter into human clinical trials in 2012.

Currently, the companies are conducting the Beacon study, a multinational Phase III clinical trial of bardoxolone methyl in patients with stage 4 chronic kidney disease and type 2 diabetes.