Angelini Pharma and JCR Pharmaceuticals announce global collaboration for the development and commercialization of novel biologic therapies in epilepsy

AP23 G 1030 JCR
  • Published: 11 May 2023
  • Collaboration combines Angelini Pharma’s expertise in neurological diseases with JCR Pharmaceuticals’ scientific and technological excellence to deliver Biotherapeutics across the blood-brain-barrier
  • Agreement gives Angelini Pharma the option to an exclusive license to develop and commercialize highly innovative brain-penetrant biologic therapeutics in epilepsy
  • JCR Pharmaceuticals receives upfront payment and is eligible to receive milestone payments as well as tiered royalties, and retains the right to commercialize in Japan

Rome (Italy)/Ashiya (Japan), 11 May 2023 - Angelini Pharma, part of the privately owned Angelini Industries, and JCR Pharmaceuticals Co., Ltd. (TSE 4552; “JCR”) announced today that they entered into an exclusive global development and commercialization agreement for the development of novel biologic therapies that applies J-Brain Cargo®, blood-brain-barrier penetrating technology, for the treatment of epilepsy applying undisclosed effectors.

JCR and Angelini Pharma will collaboratively lead the discovery and pre-clinical development efforts for the identification of brain-penetrant biologic therapeutics using JCR’s proprietary blood-brain-barrier technology, J-Brain Cargo®. This technology allows the delivery of biotherapeutics into the central nervous system via a mechanism called receptor-mediated transcytosis. Following the pre-clinical development phase, Angelini Pharma will have an exclusive license option to advance therapeutic candidates identified as part of the collaboration into clinical development and global commercialization outside of Japan.

Under the terms of the agreement, JCR will receive reimbursement of research expenses, upfront payment and will also be eligible to receive additional development and commercial milestones up to US$505.5 million, as well as tiered royalties on post-approval net sales.

“Epilepsy is one of the most prevalent chronic neurological diseases. In the past decade, it has been recognized as a social disease with high level of disability and mortality burden, and more research is urgently needed to identify targeted solutions for this underserved patient community” said Jacopo Andreose, Chief Executive Officer of Angelini Pharma. “Through this strategic collaboration with JCR, a company with a wealth of biotechnological expertise, we will combine our respective strengths to explore the use of biologics in this area and accelerate critically needed treatment options for people living with epilepsy.”

“The blood-brain-barrier has remained an elusive target in clinical research for neurological disease, and we are excited to partner with Angelini Pharma to bring forward new therapies for these patients,” said Shin Ashida, Chairman, President and Chairman of JCR. “I believe that our proprietary J-Brain Cargo® technology is an important key to treatment of central nervous system disorders. Combining our key technologies with Angelini Pharma’s deep therapeutic knowledge in neurological diseases, will create new treatment options for people living with epilepsy.” 

Epilepsy is thought to affect more than 50 million people worldwide[i], representing one of the most common, serious, chronic and debilitating neurological conditions worldwide. It occurs in people of all ages and has numerous neurobiological, cognitive and psychosocial consequences. Seizures cannot be controlled with available medications in many of these individuals, resulting in a high unmet need for novel therapies that offer long-lasting relief from the significant impact and burden of the disease on all aspects of their life.


[i] WHO,