Lodo and Roche go digging for drug candidates, after $1bn deal

pharmafile | May 10, 2018 | News story | Sales and Marketing Genentech, Roche, biotech, drugs, pharma, pharmaceutical 

Discovering potential therapeutics from natural sources has been a constant throughout the evolution of medicine, Lodo Therapeutics, however, has taken it one step further via its soil-sequencing approach.

The tiny biotech takes samples of soil from various locations across the US and isolates DNA from the soil to discover potential therapeutic effect.

It’s a form of drug discovery that has managed to catch the eye of Roche’s subsidiary, Genentech, which has put down an undisclosed upfront fee to begin the partnership with Lodo and back-loaded the deal to be worth a potential $969 million.

“Our ability to enter into a strategic collaboration with one of the leaders in innovating wholly new classes of drugs just two years after Lodo Therapeutics was founded reflects the potential of our proprietary platform to be a valuable resource to advance their drug discovery initiatives,” said David Pompliano, Co-founder and Chief Scientific Officer of Lodo Therapeutics.

As Pompliano mentions, the biotech emerged in January 2016 and was backed by Accelerator Life Science Partners to the tune of $17 million.

Only a few months ago, Lodo was able to show the potential its platform had when several researchers from the biotech were part of a team that discovered a new strain of antibiotics.

The team uncovered a type of antibiotics named malacidins, which potentially offer hope in the fight against antibiotic-resistant bacteria. A lot more development is needed prior to that, with the potential antibiotic still some way from the clinic, but it does show the potential of this particular method of drug discovery.

In order to boost the number of soil samples it receives, the biotech has also employed an unusual method of recruiting helpers – offering members of the public the chance to submit local soil samples in return for an Amazon gift voucher.

The biotech is looking for as broad a range of soil samples as possible, though it noted that it is particularly interested in samples from the Midwest, the South and the Rocky Mountain states of the US.

Each new sample could potentially hold the next drug candidates and, for Genentech, the next treatment it can take to market.

Ben Hargreaves

Related Content

Pfizer sign

Delayed Pfizer vaccine dose gives 3.5 times more immunity, study shows

The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is around three and a half times more effective when dosed …

Amgen flag

AstraZeneca and Amgen asthma drug shows positive results in Phase III trial

AstraZeneca and Amgen’s new tezepelumab drug for the treatment of severe asthma has shown superiority …

India report record number of COVID deaths as bodies drift down Ganges

India yesterday reported the country’s highest COVID-19 death total for a single day, with 4,205 …

Latest content