Teaming Up to Tackle Disease: This Week's Biopharma Collaborations


Collaborations are part of the life’s blood of clinical development as biopharma and life sciences companies partner and pool resources to develop novel therapies and treatments for a myriad of diseases. 

This morning, multiple companies announced clinical and strategic collaborations. 

PureTech Health to Harness BeiGene’s Checkpoint Inhibitor

Boston-based PureTech Health plc and BeiGene forged an alliance to assess the combination of BeiGene’s experimental checkpoint inhibitor tislelizumab with PureTech's LYT-200, an experimental monoclonal antibody targeting galectin-9, as a potential treatment for difficult-to-treat solid tumor indications that are associated with poor survival rates. Galectin-9 is a widely expressed immune modulator in multiple tumor types that are difficult-to-treat tumor types. 

In preclinical models, it has been shown that inhibition of galectin-9 with targeted antibodies leads to upregulation of immunostimulatory cytokines and anti-tumor activity. 

The financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed. BeiGene has agreed to supply tislelizumab for use in combination with LYT-200. PureTech will control the development of the LYT-200 program as both a monotherapy and in conjunction with other assets. 

BeiGene’s tislelizumab was previously approved in China for four solid tumor indications, including classical Hodgkin’s lymphoma and metastatic urothelial carcinoma. BeiGene is seeking approval for additional indications, including lung cancer. Earlier this year, the company struck a licensing deal with Novartis to commercialize tislelizumab in North America, Europe, and Japan.

Sophia Genetics Partners with GE Healthcare

Boston-based Sophia Genetics and GE Healthcare will partner to develop new artificial intelligence (AI)-powered analytics and workflow solutions that will better serve both the clinical and biopharma markets. The two companies will pair GE Healthcare's medical imaging and monitoring capabilities and Edison platform-enabled data aggregation with the SOPHiA DDM cloud-based software-as-a-service analytics genomic insights platform.

In this morning’s announcement, the companies said they aim to “break down the data silos across instruments and sites that so often delay or even prevent patients from getting the most appropriate treatment both in cancer and in other diseases.” The collaboration will attempt to harness the promise of integrated cancer medications with insights from multiple diagnostic modalities. 

Sanofi Licenses Eureka Asset for Multiple Myeloma

California-based Eureka Therapeutics and Memorial Sloan Kettering struck a licensing deal with Sanofi for the non-CAR use of a novel, human binding domain targeting GPRC5D (G Protein-Coupled Receptor Family C Group 5 Member D) for use in treating multiple myeloma. 

The GPRC5D binding domain was initially discovered through Eureka’s proprietary E-ALPHA antibody discovery platform. It was then co-developed by Eureka and Memorial Sloan Kettering. Eric L. Smith, a research scientist, and inventor on the Eureka patent, said GPRC5D targeting is a promising option for the treatment of multiple myeloma, particularly for those patients who have relapsed after being treated with other therapies.

Eureka and Memorial Sloan Kettering will receive an undisclosed upfront payment, and an expected more than $1 billion in milestone payments. Eureka and MSK are also eligible to receive tiered royalties on net sales.

Tryp Teams up with University of Michigan

San Diego-based Tryp Therapeutics partnered with the University of Michigan to perform research related to Tryp's Psilocybin-for-Neuropsychiatric Disorders (PFN) program. In its announcement, Tryp said the partnership is part of a series of upcoming bridging studies that will expand its intellectual property portfolio regarding its novel TRP-8803 drug formulation.

Tryp’s PFN program is used to develop synthetic psilocybin as a new class of drug for the potential treatment of certain chronic pain and eating disorder indications. TRP-8802 is being assessed as a potential treatment of fibromyalgia.

The university’s Chronic Pain & Fatigue Research Center and the Center will assess proprietary formulations of Tryp’s asset and ultimately facilitate the advancement of TRP-8803 into Phase IIb clinical trials.

Reset Pharmaceuticals Strikes Licensing deal with NYU Langone Health

Privately-held Reset Pharmaceuticals snagged a licensing deal from NYU Langone Health for intellectual property (IP) associated with the use of psilocybin and related psychedelics for the treatment of mental illness in patients with life-threatening diseases, including cancer.

The deal is expected to accelerate Reset Pharmaceuticals’ lead psilocybin program that targets severe demoralization and anxiety, and depression, in cancer patients. It is estimated that about 40% of cancer patients in the U.S. may have mood disorders, which can lead to suicidal thoughts or create issues with adherence to cancer therapies. 

The deal's financial terms were not disclosed in the announcement, but Reset said NYU Langone would receive milestone and royalty compensation. Under terms of the collaboration, both the company and university will continue to explore the role of psychedelics in the treatment of mental illness in other life-threatening disorders beyond cancer.

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