Artios Pharma and Novartis have formed a global research collaboration to discover and validate next generation DNA damage response (DDR) targets to enhance the Swiss drugmaker’s radioligand therapies (RLT).
Novartis’ RLT delivers targeted radiation to a specific subset of cancer cells, thus reducing harmful effects of treatment on the surrounding healthy cells. The firms note that RLT has been shown to improve overall survival and quality of life, particularly in cancers with bone metastases.
Under the three-year deal, Artios and Novartis will perform target discovery and validation, and Novartis will select up to three exclusive DDR targets, receiving worldwide rights to use them with its RLTs.
On the financial side, Novartis will make an upfront payment of $20 million and provide near term research funding to support the collaboration, while Artios stands to receive up to $1.3 billion in discovery, development, regulatory and sales-based milestones, in addition to royalty payments on net sales of products making it to market.
“This collaboration expands the reach of our discovery platform, leveraging our DDR expertise and target knowledge to enhance the potential of radioligand therapies,” commented Dr Niall Martin, Artios’ chief executive.
“From a strategic perspective, this collaboration is an ideal fit which maximises the application of our platform to areas beyond our current focus as we independently advance our pipeline of novel DDR candidates.”
The collaboration does not include Artios’ lead programs, ART0380, which is currently in clinical development, or ART4215, a first-in-class Pol Theta inhibitor.