JPM18: Incyte and Syros to collaborate in cancer R&D
- Gene expression-focused biotech Syros Pharmaceuticals, Inc. has snagged a collaboration deal with biopharma Incyte Corp. to develop potential therapeutics to treat rare bone marrow disorders known as myeloproliferative neoplasms (MPNs).
- In return for $20 million upfront in cash and R&D funding, and $10 million in stock, Syros will use its platform technology to find targets in MPNs. Incyte gets options to exclusive rights for therapies modulating up to seven validated targets discovered under the collaboration.
- If Incyte exercises these options, Syros could see up to $54 million in option fees, and up to $115 million for products against each of the targets, as well as low-single digit royalties.
Incyte's key focus is cancer, with targeted therapies and immunotherapies at all stages from discovery, through clinical trials, to products on the market. This deal, which targets myeloproliferative neoplasms, will provide a new perspective to Incyte's pipeline.
The pact also will give Syros validation for its gene control platform, which has potential to work across a variety of different diseases, as well as funding to support its in-house development. This deal and existing cash should fund the company through into 2019.
In a presentation this week at the J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference in San Francisco, Syros outlined its priorities for 2018, including using its platform to build its in-house discovery and a preclinical pipeline with a focus on oncology, including immune-oncology, and on monogenic diseases. The aim is to have an investigational new drug application every other year.
"We can continue advancing our own pipeline to achieve our long-term goal of building a fully integrated company," said Nancy Simonian, CEO, Syros.
Other goals for 2018 include planned data readouts of its two clinical programs: SY-1425, a selective RARα agonist in two Phase 2 trials in genomically-defined acute myeloid leukemia and myelodysplastic syndrome; and SY-1365, a selective CDK7 inhibitor in a Phase 1 trial in advanced solid tumors.
Syros also plans to select a new development candidate, and advance discovery programs in cancer and sickle cell disease.
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