with Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany
- Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany and Artios will conduct collaborative research and Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany shall have the right to opt into exclusive development and commercialization of compounds on up to 8 targets
- Artios to receive US$30 million in up-front and near-term payments, plus double-digit option fees and up to US$860 million total milestones per target
- Collaboration to leverage significant expertise and R&D resources of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany in the field of DNA Damage Response to identify and develop precision oncology medicines targeting nucleases
Amsterdam, The Netherlands, December 03, 2020 – LSP’s portfolio company Artios Pharma Limited (Artios), a leading DNA Damage Response (DDR) company developing a broad pipeline of precision medicines for the treatment of cancer, and Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany a leading science and technology company today announced a global three year strategic research collaboration to discover and develop multiple precision oncology drugs. Artios is a portfolio company of LSP 6.
“Our platform has the potential to revolutionize targeted treatment in cancer and deliver on the promise of precision medicine. This collaboration will leverage the potential of our unique discovery platform of novel DNA repair nuclease inhibitors and targets that we have been developing. The partnership puts us in an exceptional position to focus internal efforts on our leading portfolio of assets which includes a small-molecule ATR inhibitor and a Polθ programme, both in candidate IND evaluation,” said Niall Martin, Chief Executive Officer at Artios Pharma.
“Targeting DNA damage response has the potential to provide an important therapeutic option for many patients in need of new treatments. We are excited about working with Artios to develop novel precision oncology medicines as we move towards changing the current paradigm in cancer treatment. This collaboration further strengthens our leadership and expertise in the field and discovery of DDR inhibitors and complements our multiple innovative assets currently being evaluated in several Phase I and Phase II clinical studies,” said Andree Blaukat, SVP and Head Translational Innovation Platform Oncology & Immuno-Oncology, at Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany.
René Kuijten, Managing Partner at LSP and board member at Artios commented: “The collaboration with Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany is a confirmation of the outstanding calibre of the Artios team, which has worked very hard to create the world’s leading DNA repair drug discovery and biology platform. We are very excited to have Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany as a partner with the common goal to create next generation precision medicines for cancer patients.”
Under the terms of the agreement, the companies will leverage Artios’s proprietary nuclease targeting discovery platform to jointly identify multiple synthetic lethal targets for precision oncology drug candidates. During this joint research collaboration, Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany will contribute its significant expertise and resources in the field of DDR and will have exclusive worldwide rights to develop and commercialize selected therapeutics discovered under the collaboration. The collaboration does not include Artios’s lead programmes, Polθ and ATR inhibitors, for which Artios will retain all rights.
As part of the agreement, Artios will receive a payment of US$30 million in the form of an up-front and near-term payments. If Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany chooses to exercise the option, subject to double digit option fees, Artios will be eligible to receive up to US$860 million per target, in addition to up to double digit royalty payments on net sales of each product commercialized by Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany.
Subject to certain conditions, Artios has opt-in rights for joint development and commercialization with Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany for the programmes.
About Artios Pharma Limited
Artios is a leading DNA Damage Response (DDR) company focused on developing first-in-class treatments for cancer. The Company, founded by SV Health Investors in 2016, is led by an experienced scientific and leadership team with proven expertise in DDR drug discovery. It has a unique partnership with Cancer Research UK (CRUK), and collaborations with leading DNA repair researchers worldwide, such as The Institute of Cancer Research (ICR), London, the Netherlands Cancer Institute (NKI) and the National Centre for Biomolecular Research at Masaryk University in the Czech Republic, with their expertise in DNA repair nucleases. Artios is building a pipeline of next-generation DDR programmes to target hard to treat cancers. It is backed by blue chip investors including: AbbVie Ventures, Andera Partners (formerly EdRIP), Arix Bioscience plc, IP Group plc, LSP, M Ventures, Novartis Venture Fund (NVF), Pfizer Ventures and SV Health Investors. Artios is based at the Babraham Research Campus in Cambridge, UK, with offices in New York City, USA. For more information: artiospharma.com
LSP is one of the largest European investment firms providing financing for life sciences and health care companies. LSP’s management has raised over €2 billion ($2.3 billion) and developed more than 120 companies since it started to invest in 1988. With offices in Amsterdam, Munich and Boston, LSP currently has the possibility to invest from three funds, each having a distinctive investment scope and a dedicated team: LSP 6 invests in private early- to late-stage drug development and medical technology companies; LSP HEF 2 focuses on private late-stage medical technology companies with a health and economic benefit; and LSP Public targets public healthcare companies. Among LSP’s signature deals are argenx, Crucell, KuDOS, Movetis, Neuravi, Okairos, Prosensa, Qiagen and Zealand Pharma. In addition, LSP is an active contributor to the life sciences industry through roles as founder and board member of the Oncode Institute, initiator of the Dutch Venture Initiative (DVI), as well as board member of European venture capital associations, technology transfer institutes and government bodies. For more information: lspvc.com
For more information please contact:
René Kuijten, MD PhD MBA, Managing Partner at LSP
+31 (0) 20 664 55 00
Karin Kleinhans, PhD, Investment Manager at LSP
+49 89 120 850 90
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