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Novartis and Artios Pharma to collaborate on DDR cancer therapies

Published on 07/04/21 at 11:02am

Novartis and Artios Pharma have announced a global research collaboration to discover and validate next generation DNA damage response (DDR) targets aimed at enhancing Novartis’ radioligand therapies (RLT).

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

Artios Pharma is a leading DDR company based in Cambridge that works to exploit synthetic lethality and has developed a broad pipeline of precision medicines for the treatment of cancers.

Dr Niall Martin, Chief Executive Officer at Artios Pharma, said: “This collaboration expands the reach of our discovery platform, leveraging our DDR expertise and target knowledge to enhance the potential of radioligand therapies. 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 maximises 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.”

Under the terms of the agreement, Novartis will make an up-front payment of $20 million and provide near term research funding to support the collaboration.

Artios will be eligible to receive discovery, development, regulatory, and sales-based milestones, in addition to royalty payments on net sales of products commercialised by Novartis.

Novartis’s RLT delivers targeted radiation to a specific subset of cancer cells, with minimal effect on surrounding healthy cells. RLT has been shown to improve overall survival and quality of life, particularly in the setting of cancers with bone metastases. 

Kat Jenkins

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