Artios Pharma and Novartis Set to Collaborate to Develop Next-Generation DDR Therapies

Pipeline Report | <b>Pipeline Report: May 2021</b>

Artios Pharma, a company devoted to developing precision medicine–based treatments based on DNA damage response mechanisms, is entering into a global research collaboration with Novartis to develop next-generation DDR targets that will synergize with Novartis’ radioligand therapies.

Artios Pharma, a company devoted to developing precision medicine–based treatments based on DNA damage response (DDR) mechanisms, is entering into a global research collaboration with Novartis to develop next-generation DDR targets that will synergize with Novartis’ radioligand therapies.1

As part of the 3-year collaboration, Artios and Novartis will pursue target discovery and validation, and Novartis will identify as many as 3 exclusive DDR targets, and receive worldwide rights on these targets to be used in combination with its radioligand therapies, which have been shown to improve overall survival and quality of life, particularly in patients with bone metastases.

Novartis’ radioligand therapies deliver targeted radiation to a subset of cancer cells, with minimal effect on surrounding healthy cells.

Per the agreement, Artios is set to receive $20 million up front from Novartis in addition to research funding in the near term to support the collaboration. Moreover, Artios is eligible to receive up to $1.3 billion in discovery, development, regulatory and sales-based milestones in addition to royalty payments on net sales of products commercialized by Novartis.

“This collaboration expands the reach of our discovery platform, leveraging our DDR expertise and target knowledge to enhance the potential of radioligand therapies. We are thrilled to work with Novartis, and this combined with our recent collaboration with Merck KGaA, provides important validation of the power of the internal discovery capabilities at Artios. From a strategic perspective, this collaboration is an ideal fit which maximizes the application of our platform to areas beyond our current focus as we independently advance our pipeline of novel DDR candidates,” said Niall Martin, PhD, chief executive officer at Artios Pharma, in a press release.

Artios has demonstrated expertise in DDR drug discovery, including the identification and development of the PARP inhibitor olaparib (Lynparza), which currently has indications in the treatment of ovarian cancer, breast cancer, pancreatic cancer, and prostate cancer.2

Artios’ lead programs, ART0380, which is an ATR inhibitor currently in clinical development for the treatment of DDR defective tumors, and ART4215, a first-in-class Pol Theta inhibitor, will not be included in the collaboration.

“We look forward to continued momentum as a clinical-stage precision medicine company, building upon our recently initiated phase 1 study of ART0380, our potential best-in-class ATR inhibitor, withthe expected entry of our first-in-class Pol Theta program into the clinic before year end,” concluded Martin.

In December 2020, Artios entered into a collaboration with Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany to identify and develop precision oncology medicines targeting nucleases.

References

  1. Artios Pharma Announces Collaboration with Novartis to Create Next Generation DDR Cancer Therapies. News release. Artios Pharma. April 7, 2021. Accessed May 11, 2021. https://bit.ly/2ShVRwc
  2. Lynparza prescribing information. FDA. May 2020. Accessed May 12, 2021. https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/drugsatfda_docs/label/2020/208558s014lbl.pdf.