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Forest Laboratories will pay $50 million for access to TransTech Pharma’s glucokinase activator compounds, which are in early-phase studies for the treatment of type 2 diabetes. TransTech could earn up to $1.1 billion in milestone payments as the compounds progress toward commercialization. TransTech developed the glucokinase activators in collaboration with Novo Nordisk, which returned the compounds to the biotech firm in 2007 after deciding to exit small-molecule research. Glucokinase is active in the pancreas and liver, but TransTech’s compounds specifically modulate the enzyme’s role in glucose metabolism in the liver.
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