PureTech strikes development deal with Novartis
- In a deal announced late last week, Novartis has shed two Phase 2 mTORC1 inhibitors, passing them on to PureTech Health, which gains exclusive rights and will wrap them into a new operating subsidiary, resTORbio.
- Novartis gains equity in resTORbio, and is promised milestone payments, along with royalties based on net sales. PureTech Health is investing $15 million in the program for a 58% diluted stake in resTORbio, with potential of an additional $10 million.
- A Phase 2b trial is planned for 2017 in immunosenescence, the aging related decline in the immune response that increases the risk of cancer and other diseases.
As the global population ages, and healthcare increasingly focuses on living to a healthy old age, the field of aging-related disease will continue to grow. PureTech Health has taken the opportunity — as Novartis sheds a couple of Phase 2 assets — to set up resTORbio around two mTORC1 inhibitors for immunosenescence.
“Consistent with our strategy of addressing the impairments of the brain, gut and immune systems, targeting the mTORC1 pathway offers us a compelling opportunity to address conditions impacting these adaptive systems,” said Joe Bolen, CSO of PureTech Health.
Jefferies analysts describe PureTech's approach as "start with a problem"; the company begins with a challenge and finds a solution, rather than the academic spin out approach of "start with the science/a solution, see if it’s commercial."
Novartis has been reshuffling as of late, with a greater emphasis on oncology, closure of two biologics centers and rearrangement of its CAR-T program into its pharmaceuticals division from being a stand-alone unit. The two unnamed agents have already been studied by Novartis in Phase 2a trials in hundreds of elderly people.
"We regard the further development of these compounds by PureTech Health for the potential treatment of conditions such as immunosenescence, as a prime example of our continued commitment to work more openly with innovators beyond our walls to advance projects that have the potential to help patients lead healthier lives," said Jay Brander, president of the Novartis Institutes for Biomedical Research (NIBR).
PureTech Health, founded by serial entrepreneurs Daphne Zohar and Robert S. Langer, and former Pharmacia & Upjohn CEO John Zabriskie, focuses on creating compounds around candidates acting at the crossover between the nervous and immune systems.
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