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Bicycle Therapeutics deal for haemophilia and sickle cell disease therapies could be worth $410million


By Paul Brackley


Kevin Lee at Bicycle Therapeutics was named runner-up in the Life Science CEO of the Year category
Kevin Lee at Bicycle Therapeutics was named runner-up in the Life Science CEO of the Year category

The biotech firm based on Babraham Research Campus is working with life sciences company Bioverativ Inc.

Bicycles combine attributes of antibodies, small molecules and peptides. It means they can pass further into the core of the tumour than was previously possible
Bicycles combine attributes of antibodies, small molecules and peptides. It means they can pass further into the core of the tumour than was previously possible

Biotech firm Bicycle Therapeutics is in line to earn up to $410million from a blockbuster deal to develop therapies for haemophilia and sickle cell disease.

The firm, based on Babraham Research Campus, will collaborate with Bioverativ Inc, a global life sciences company headquartered in Massachusetts, USA.

Bicycle Therapeutics is developing a new class of medicines to fight cancer and other diseases using its proprietary bicyclic peptide, or ‘Bicycle’, platform.

Bicycles combine attributes of antibodies, small molecules and peptides within one tiny package.

Sir Gregory Winter at Bicycle Therapeutics
Sir Gregory Winter at Bicycle Therapeutics

Like antibodies, they offer “affinity and exquisite target specificity”, while their small size enables rapid and deep tissue penetration, which allows tissues and tumours to be targeted from within.

Meanwhile, their peptidic nature means they pass through the kidneys – thereby avoiding the problem of toxicity in the liver or gastrointestinal tract seen with other types of drug.

With Bioverativ, Bicycle Therapeutics will seek to find drug candidates to treat haemophilia – a disorder that is typically inherited and prevents blood clotting properly, meaning people bleed for longer – and sickle cell disease, a group of inherited conditions that affect the red blood cells.

Bicycle Therapeutics will receive a $10million payment upfront and a near-term research and development fund of $4.2m.

Bicycle Therapeutics at Babraham Research Campus
Bicycle Therapeutics at Babraham Research Campus

It is eligible to receive up to $410million based on development, regulatory and commercialisation milestones for products planned under the two programs, along with tiered single to low double-digit royalties related to product sales.

Kevin Lee, chief executive officer of Bicycle Therapeutics, said: “We believe our Bicycle platform has extremely broad therapeutic potential and we are excited to work with Bioverativ, a standout leader in the haematology field, to explore bicycles in this important area of clinical need.

“Combining Bioverativ’s deep expertise in haematology with our powerful platform offers great promise for the development of novel, targeted therapies for patients. This alliance provides the latest validation of our bicycle platform and furthers our strategy to evaluate its potential in a wide range of new disease areas.”

Tim Harris, executive vice president of research and development at Bioverativ, said: “We are constantly exploring new ways to do innovative science to find new molecules that can advance the care of people living with rare blood disorders.

“This collaboration offers a unique opportunity to identify an entirely new therapeutic modality that may lead to meaningful new treatments and outcomes for people living with haemophilia and sickle cell disease.

“We are delighted to be working with Bicycle to pursue our shared goal of creating progress for patients with great unmet treatment needs.”

It is the latest lucrative deal announced by Bicycle Therapeutics, which last December announced a collaboration deal with AstraZeneca that could earn it more than £1billion, if all planned programs reach the market.

In June, Cambridge Innovation Capital (CIC) was the lead investor in a Series B fundraising round that pumped £40million into Bicycle Therapeutics.



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