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Artios Pharma’s DNA damage response collaboration with Novartis worth a potential $1.3bn

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Artios Pharma has announced a global research collaboration with Novartis to discover and validate next generation DNA damage response (DDR) targets to enhance Novartis’s radioligand therapies (RLT).

Radioligand therapies have emerged as a new potential class of precision oncology drugs, combining a targeting compound (ligand) with a radioactive isotope to cause DNA damage to inhibit tumour growth and replication.

Dr Niall Martin, CEO at Artios Pharma
Dr Niall Martin, CEO at Artios Pharma

Novartis’s RLT delivers targeted radiation to a specific subset of cancer cells, with minimal effect on surrounding healthy cells.

Artios is a Babraham Research Campus-based independent DDR company with a strong pipeline of novel cancer therapies in development with first-in-class and best-in-class potential.

Under the three-year collaboration, Artios and Novartis will perform target discovery and validation, and Novartis will select up to three exclusive DDR targets, and receive worldwide rights on these targets to be utilised with its RLTs.

Novartis will make an up-front payment of $20million and provide near-term research funding to support the collaboration. Artios is eligible to receive up to $1.3billion in discovery, development, regulatory and sales-based milestones in addition to royalty payments.

Dr Niall Martin, Artios Pharma’s CEO, said: “This collaboration expands the reach of our discovery platform, leveraging our DDR expertise and target knowledge to enhance the potential of radioligand therapies.

Artios Pharma
Artios Pharma

“We are thrilled to work with Novartis and this, combined with our recent collaboration with Merck KGaA, provides important validation of the power of the internal discovery capabilities at Artios. From a strategic perspective, this collaboration is an ideal fit which maximizes the application of our platform to areas beyond our current focus as we independently advance our pipeline of novel DDR candidates.

“We look forward to continued momentum as a clinical-stage precision medicine company, building upon our recently initiated Phase 1 study of ART0380, our potential best-in-class ATR inhibitor, with the expected entry of our first-in-class Pol Theta program into the clinic before year end.”

The collaboration does not include Artios’ lead programmes, ART0380, which is currently in clinical development, or ART4215, a first-in-class Pol Theta inhibitor.

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