Novartis signs potential $2.7B deal with PeptiDream to expand radioligand discovery partnership

Novartis Building_iStock, JHVEPhoto

Pictured: Novartis logo outside a building in San Diego, California/iStock, JHVEPhoto

Novartis on Tuesday expanded its peptide discovery collaboration with Japanese biotech PeptiDream, striking a milestone payment deal worth more than $2.7 billion, making it the latest move in the red-hot radiopharmaceutical sector.

Under the agreement, PeptiDream uses its technology – the Peptide Discovery Platform System – to find new cyclotides against targets chosen by Novartis. These targets can be incorporated into radioligand therapies (RLT), which may have other therapeutic or diagnostic uses.

Novartis will pay PeptiDream $180 million upfront and is also eligible to receive $2.71 billion in milestone payments. The biotech may also receive net tiered royalties from any product sales.

Affected by this news, PeptiDream’s stock price rose 24% in Tuesday trading.

Novartis and PeptiDream have been engaged in various transactions since 2010. Terms of the partnership were not disclosed.

“We are pleased to further expand our long-term cyclotide discovery collaboration with Novartis, adding additional peptide RLTs and other programs to our strong partnership,” PeptiDream CEO Patrick Reid said in a statement. “As cyclotides continue to be the leading An ideal vehicle for targeted delivery of a variety of therapeutic payloads, PeptiDream continues to build an extensive collaboration and internal pipeline of peptide conjugate programs. “

PeptiDream has also been active in the deal world, with the biotech receiving a $40 million upfront payment from Roche’s Genentech last year for the discovery of radioisotope drug conjugates. The agreement also carries milestone value of up to $1 billion. The biotech has also previously initiated discovery agreements with companies including Eli Lilly and Company and Merck & Co.

“Our expanded partnership reflects our shared commitment to pioneering science that broadens the scope of transformative treatments like RLT,” Shiva Malek, global head of oncology research at Novartis, said in a statement.

Radiopharmaceuticals have been a major investment area for Novartis. In 2018, the pharmaceutical company spent more than $6 billion to acquire two companies, Advanced Accelerator Application SA and End Bathroom. Through these deals, Novartis gained the rights to the prostate cancer treatments Pluvicto and Lutathera. These radioligands generate substantial revenue for Novartis, with Pluvicto earning $310 million in the first quarter of 2024 and Lutathera earning $169 million.

The radiopharma deal space has been active over the past year, with AstraZeneca signing a potential $2.4 billion deal to acquire Fusion Pharmaceuticals in March 2024, giving it access to its radiobinding candidate FPI-2265 (a drug used to treat prostate cancer). Last year, Bristol Myers Squibb acquired RayzeBio for $4.1 billion, giving it access to its leading radiopharmaceutical program.

Tyler Patchen is biospace. You can contact him at Follow him on LinkedIn.

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