Two months after partnering with Novartis for its radio-conjugates, UK-based Bicycle Therapeutics has now entered a partnership with German Big Pharma Bayer with the aim to discover and develop its bicyclic peptides using its phage platform.
The deal will span across multiple oncology targets and is part of Bayer’s attempts to take its radiopharmaceutical pipeline up a notch.
The bicyclic peptides in question are known to consist of 9 and up to 20 amino peptides that have the ability to bind themselves to their targets. By combining themselves with radioactive particulates, they are created to bind themselves to tumor cells and destroy them.
While the most recent press release by the firm talks only about several undisclosed oncology targets, making no reference to the exact application or number of peptides, according to the financial details disclosed, Bayer is making an upfront payment of $45 million to Bicycle.
If development and commercial milestone fees as well as tiered royalties on sales are taken into account, the amount of the total payout to Bicycle can go as high as $1.7 billion.
Under the agreement, Bayer will also take responsibility for bankrolling and development. From preclinical work to potential commercialization, all of it will be foreseen by the German pharma company.
This deal is also not Bayer’s first venture into radiotherapy. In fact, two years ago, Bayer acquired radiotherapeutics biotech Noria Therapeutics along with its subsidiary PSMA Therapeutics. Apart from this, the firm also markets its own radiotherapy treatment called Xofigo for prostate cancer.
While Bicycle’s deal with Bayer particularly focuses on the firm’s radiotherapy cancer drug candidates, Bicycle’s deal with Genentech involves multiple immuno-oncology targets. Most of the details, however, are still under wraps.
In terms of dealmaking, Bicycle also had a very successful run months ago. The biotech signed a deal with Swiss-based Novartis, which promised the company up to $1.7 billion for several undisclosed oncology targets.
Novartis, like Bayer, also has two radiotherapeutics called Pluvicto and Lutathera on the market. The former was developed as a treatment for prostate cancer, while the latter targets certain gastroenteropancreatic neuroendocrine tumors. Despite this, the company was eager to get its hands on Bicycle’s radio conjugates.
Unlike Bayer, however, Novartis only recently re-entered the radiotherapy market. The firm purchased exclusive rights to 3B Pharmaceuticals’ cancer-targeting tech only last month after making an upfront payment of $40 million.