Artios collaborates with Novartis to create next generation DDR cancer therapies

LONDON: Arix Bioscience’s portfolio company Artios Pharma Limited announced a global research collaboration with Novartis to discover and validate next generation DDR targets to enhance Novartis’ Radioligand Therapies (RLT).

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 $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.

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

Arix is the largest shareholder in Artios, with a 12.4% ownership stake on a fully diluted basis.

Naseem Amin Executive Chairman at Arix and Artios Board Director, commented: “This collaboration will exploit Artios’ innovative discovery technology to build a pipeline of RLT combination therapies that can change the current paradigm in cancer treatment. Following the recent multi-billion dollar deal with Merck, the collaboration with Novartis further strengthens Artios’ leadership in the field of DDR. We are proud to continue supporting Artios as it becomes a clinical-stage precision medicine company.”

Arix Bioscience plc is a global venture capital company focused on investing in and building breakthrough biotech companies around cutting-edge advances in life sciences.

We collaborate with exceptional entrepreneurs and provide the capital, expertise and global networks to help accelerate their ideas into important new treatments for patients. As a listed company, we are able to bring this exciting growth phase of our industry to a broader range of investors.

Artios is a leading DNA Damage Response (DDR) company focused on developing first-in-class treatments for cancer. The Company is led by an experienced scientific and leadership team with proven expertise in DDR drug discovery, including the identification and development of the PARP inhibitor olaparib. It has a unique partnership with Cancer Research UK (CRUK), and collaborations with leading DNA repair researchers worldwide, such as The Institute of Cancer Research (ICR), London, the Netherlands Cancer Institute (NKI) and the Crick Institute, London.

Artios is building a pipeline of next-generation DDR programmes to target hard to treat cancers, including Phase I/IIa clinical studies in 2021 for its ATR inhibitor ART0380 in treating DDR defective tumours, and the first-in-class Pol theta inhibitor ART4215 for mono therapy and combination treatments. In December 2020, Artios entered into a collaboration agreement with Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany to identify and develop precision oncology medicines targeting nucleases.

Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany has the right to opt into exclusive development and commercialization of compounds on up to eight targets and Artios to receive up to US$860 million total milestones per target. It is backed by blue chip investors including: AbbVie Ventures, Andera Partners, Arix Bioscience plc, IP Group plc, Life Science Partners (LSP), M Ventures, Novartis Venture Fund (NVF), Pfizer Ventures and SV Health Investors. Artios is based at the Babraham Research Campus in Cambridge, UK, with an office in New York City, USA.

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