Novartis continues radioligand drive via deal with Artios Pharma

Novartis entered an agreement to enhance its pipeline of radioligand therapies by utilising Artios Pharma's discovery platform to identify and validate next-generation DNA damage response (DDR) targets, the latter company announced Wednesday. As part of the deal, Novartis will make an upfront payment of $20 million, with Artios eligible to receive up to $1.3 billion in milestones, as well as sales royalties.

Under the three-year collaboration, the companies will perform target discovery and validation, while Novartis will select up to three exclusive DDR targets, and receive worldwide rights on these targets to be utilised with its radioligand therapies. The Swiss drugmaker will also provide near-term research funding to support the partnership.

Last month, Novartis bolstered its radioligand therapy pipeline by obtaining exclusive global rights to develop and commercialise therapeutic applications for a library of FAP-targeting compounds through a deal with SOFIE Biosciences' affiliate iTheranostics. Meanwhile the Swiss company recently announced that a Phase III study investigating the PSMA-targeted radioligand therapy 177Lu-PSMA-617 in patients with progressive PSMA-positive metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer met its primary endpoints.

For related analysis, see ViewPoints: Novartis' closely watched prostate cancer study hits endpoints.

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