FTSE 250 drugmaker Indivior has partnered with Swiss firm Addex Therapeutics to develop drugs to combat alcohol and cocaine addiction in a deal worth up to $330m (£243m).
Addex is developing drugs that target the GABAb receptor pathway in the brain, which have shown the potential to treat alcohol and cocaine abuse from early stages of research.
Under the agreement, Indivior will pay $5m to Addex upfront and will invest in research funding over the next two years. Potential milestone payments to Addex could total $330m if all development, regulatory and sales goals are achieved, Indivior said.
Indivior will receive a global licence to Addex's lead candidate, ADX71441, which is expected to enter phase one clinical studies next year.
"As part of our leadership position in addiction, among the key priorities we are pursuing is continuing to review and invest in promising new treatments for this chronic and relapsing disease," said Shaun Thaxter, the chief executive of Indivior.
Thaxter said the partnership to discover additional compounds targeting the GABAb receptor pathway "will complement the current pipeline efforts we have underway to develop novel treatments for addiction".
In September, shares in Indivior, which makes opioid addition treatments, plunged after a US court ruling said a generic version of its drug did not infringe on its patents.
Shares have improved in recent months however after the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved an opioid addiction treatment called Sublocade.
The company's shares rose more than one per cent this morning to 407.2p.