Roche, Parvus Therapeutics ink deal to jointly develop Navacim therapeutics for autoimmune diseases

Roche's Genentech unit entered into a global licensing agreement with Parvus Therapeutics to jointly develop Navacim therapeutics for the treatment of inflammatory bowel disease, autoimmune liver diseases and celiac disease, the latter drugmaker announced Thursday. Under the agreed terms, Roche could potentially pay Parvus more than $800 million in upfront and milestone payments, as well as royalties on sales.

According to Parvus, Navicims are designed to trigger a naturally occurring immunoregulatory mechanism of the mammalian immune system, working by presenting a singular peptide-major histocompatibility complex targeting cognate T-cell receptors on disease-relevant T cells, inducing the sustained assembly of T cell receptor microclusters and prolonged signalling that results in disease-specific type 1 regulatory T cell differentiation. The company suggested that Navicims have shown "broad therapeutic activity and disease reversal across a range of autoimmune disorders."

James Sabry, global head of pharma partnering at Roche, explained "in preclinical testing, Parvus' platform has shown the ability to induce and expand disease-specific regulatory T cells, which restore immune system balance and halt the autoimmune disease process." Under the partnership, Parvus will perform all preclinical and clinical development activities through Phase I, with Genentech conducting all subsequent clinical work, including regulatory submissions and commercialisation.

Curtis Ruegg, CEO of Parvus, noted that the deal with Genentech "is now the second partnership that we’ve entered into with a major biopharmaceutical company, which we believe reinforces the potential of our Navacim immunoregulatory therapeutic platform." The drugmaker previously licensed a Navacim therapeutic to Novartis for the treatment of type 1 diabetes.

Meanwhile, the collaboration comes after Roche reached a deal last November to acquire Jecure Therapeutics, gaining the latter's preclinical portfolio of NLRP3 inhibitors for the treatment of inflammatory and autoimmune disorders.

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