Dunad Therapeutics and Novartis enter partnership to develop protein therapies

pharmafile | November 2, 2021 | News story | Manufacturing and Production  

Biopharmaceutical company Dunad Therapeutics (Dunad) has annouced that it has entered into a strategic collaboration with Novartis, to develop orally bioavailable covalent and protein degrading small molecule drugs.

Under the terms of the agreement, Dunad will receive $24 million in an upfront payment and equity investment, and will also be eligible for milestone payments that could amount to up to $1.3 billion and royalties.

Dunad will use its platform to generate novel covalent and targeted protein degrading small molecule drugs focusing on up to four drug targets agreed with Novartis. The company is focused on the development of next-generation targeted protein degradation therapies, with the aim of overcoming major challenges with current degradation platforms, including oral bioavailability and CNS exposure.

Novartis will fully fund the research collaboration, and will provide access to unique assays and models. They will assume responsibility for the future development, manufacturing, and global commercialisation of the small molecule therapeutic products generated against the agreed targets.

Prof. Patrick Gunning, Dunad’s co-founder, acting CEO and Chief Scientific Officer, commented: “We are thrilled to have entered this collaboration with Novartis, which has already established a world leading position in the protein degradation space. This deal highlights the clear benefits our platform promises for the development of next-generation targeted protein degrader therapeutics.

“We are confident that with our approach of inducing degradation via direct modulation of target proteins with mono-valent small molecules, we can significantly expand the boundaries of targeted protein degraders as a therapeutic modality.” 

Dr Diana Kraskouskaya, co-founder and Chief Operating Officer of Dunad, added: “This collaboration is an important milestone for Dunad. It allows us to rapidly expand the impact of our platform technology to additional target classes and therapeutic areas, beyond Dunad’s own internal target pipeline. Our growing team is committed to advancing our internal pipeline and partnered programs directed against the most sought-after and previously intractable targets.” 

Lina Adams

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