Genentech seals deal with DiCE Molecules
Genentech has followed in the footsteps of its parent company by signing a drug discovery agreement with DiCE Molecules. The pact will see the two companies enter a multi-year collaboration to identify new small molecules.
The deal includes multiple targets and seems to have a similar structure to DiCE’s previous agreement with Sanofi.
The exact financials of the deal were not disclosed but it will see DiCE receive an upfront payment, as well as the usual milestones tied into development, regulatory and commercial successes.
In DiCE’s deal with Sanofi, this included a $50 million initial payment and up to $184 million per target, totalling a potential $2.3 billion.
CEO of DiCE, Kevin Judice, has previous links to Genentech, after having worked at the biotech for six years across two periods.
“Genentech is a recognized leader in biotechnology innovation, including in small molecule research and development,” said Judice, President and CEO of DiCE. “We are incredibly pleased to work with Genentech and believe this collaboration speaks to the potential of our technology to address previously intractable, but very important targets with novel chemical matter.”
The potential for the discovery lies within the targets DiCE specialises in identifying; the biotech works in small molecule discovery, with a focus on intracellular protein-protein interactions, and aims to discover compounds that can be effective in conditions that are currently only treatable by antibodies.
This means that the rather than being treated by intravenous or subcutaneous injections, oral therapies could be offered instead. Oral treatments are highly preferable because of the convenience offered and, therefore, the improved adherence they encourage.
“DiCE’s unique technology naturally complements Genentech’s efforts in small molecule drug discovery and offers the potential to unlock some of the most challenging targets, including those that were once thought to be undruggable,” said James Sabry, Senior Vice President and Global Head of Genentech Partnering.
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