Arvinas Inks $300 Million Deal With Genentech Over Protein Degradation Technology

Published: Oct 02, 2015

Arvinas Inks $300 Million Deal With Genentech Over Protein Degradation TechnologyMark Terry, Breaking News Staff

New Haven, Conn.-based Arvinas Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Arvinas, LLC, announced today that it had inked a licensing agreement with Genentech . The deal is a multi-year strategic license covering multiple disease targets.

The agreement revolves around Arvinas’ PROTAC technology, which is able to cause the loss of intracellular proteins. PROTAC, which stands for Proteolysis-Targeting Chimera, is able to cause proteins to degrade, unlike the more typical action of inhibiting or blocking drugs.

According to Arvinas, only about 25 percent of the 20,000 proteins in the human body can be drugged by way of traditional methods. The other 75 percent can potentially be drugged using PROTACs, which use a cell’s own quality control structures to bind to a specific protein and tag it for degradation, which then is removed from the cell.

The technology is based on research discovered by Craig Crews at Yale University. Crews is the company’s founder and chief scientific advisor.

Under the deal, Genentech is paying Arvinas an undisclosed amount of money upfront. Arvinas is eligible for various milestone payments that could exceed $300 million, as well as tiered royalties on sales of any developed products.

“We are thrilled to be working with Genentech, a proven expert in drug discovery and development with world class ability to manufacture and commercialize state-of-the-art therapies,” said Manuel Litchman, president and chief executive officer of Arvinas in a statement. “Our PROTAC technology represents a completely novel approach to the targeted therapy of cancer and many other diseases, and we are delighted to be working with Genentech on their targets of interest.”

In April of this year, Arvinas signed a strategic collaboration with Merck & Co. to use Arvinas’ PROTAC for targets across multiple disease targets. Again, the upfront payment was not disclosed, but the company could receive up to $434 million in milestone payments, as well as tiered royalties.

The company most recently appointed Robert Kleinfield as chief development officer. Prior to Arvinas, Kleinfield spent six years with Takeda Pharmaceuticals , and before there, five years at Wyeth , where he was involved in bringing Torisel and Bosulif to market and overseeing global Phase III clinical programs.

“Dr. Kleinfield’s work throughout his career leading drug development programs demonstrates the knowledge and experience he brings to Arvinas,” said Litchman in a statement. “Rob will undoubtedly have tremendous impact spearheading efforts to move our product pipeline to clinical proof of concept and beyond.”

Arvinas was founded in 2013 and received $15 million in Series A from 5AM Ventures, Canaan Partners, Connecticut Innovations and Elm Street Ventures.

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