Under the terms of the agreement, Peptidream will carry out the discovery and early preclinical development of radiopharmaceutical treatments against undisclosed disease targets of interest to Genentech. Genentech then has the option to license and take over the development of any candidate treatments up to commercialization, while PeptiDream keeps the right to develop and commercialize the candidates in Japan.
In return, Peptidream is eligible for $40 million upfront in addition to up to $1 billion in payments linked to development, regulatory, and commercial milestones. The company is also entitled to royalties from sales of potential treatments resulting from the deal.
Radiopharmaceuticals are compounds that consist of a radioactive isotope attached to a molecular carrier, such as an antibody, small molecule or peptide. The drugs are gaining momentum for their ability to deliver deadly radiation to cancer cells more precisely than traditional radiotherapy.
Library of 10 trillion peptides
PeptiDream’s radiopharmaceutical candidates are based on the company’s Peptide Discovery Platform System (PDPS), which harnesses a library of over 10 trillion peptides from more than 3,000 types of amino acid building blocks. The peptides used in the current collaboration are macrocyclic peptides: a ring structure of amino acids that is designed to be more stable and active than the same amino acid sequence in a linear structure.
PeptiDream’s president and CEO, Patrick Reid, welcomed the deal in a public statement, adding that the radiopharmaceutical’s expertise combined with Genetech’s clinical development and commercialization muscle is hoped to bring “innovative first-in-class peptide radiopharmaceuticals to patients worldwide.”
PeptiDream and Genentech first forged ties in 2015 with a collaboration and licensing agreement and continued to expand their collaborations over the following years. PeptiDream also has launched deals with other partners, including MSD, Ono Pharmaceutical and Astellas.
Another one of PeptiDream’s partners, the U.S. radiopharmaceutical startup RayzeBio, completed an initial public offering earlier this month, bagging $358 million on the Nasdaq.
Meanwhile, another radiopharmaceutical player, Fusion Pharmaceuticals, opened a new manufacturing facility in Canada earlier this year.