Japan’s PeptiDream Bags $1.11 Billion+ R&D Pact With Bayer


By Alex Keown


Peptidream Inc. has scored another billion dollar-plus agreement to develop peptide-based therapies aimed at the treatment of multiple disease targets.

This morning, PeptiDream said it forged a deal with Germany-based Bayer AG for use of its proprietary Peptide Discovery Platform System (PDPS) technology to identify macrocyclic/constrained peptides against multiple targets of interest selected by Bayer. PeptiDream’s PDPS technology will also be used to optimize hit peptides into therapeutic peptides or small molecule products.

Bayer holds an option to negotiate for an extension of the license to peptide-drug conjugate (PDC), diagnostic, bioimaging, and agricultural use and applications. Bayer will have the right to develop and commercialize all compounds resulting from the collaboration, according to the agreement between the two companies.

Bayer has been on a deal-making roll lately as it looks to carve out a greater niche in the biotech community. Earlier this month, the German company forged an oncology deal with Massachusetts-based Loxo Oncology worth up to $1.55 billion. Last year Bayer and CRISPR Therapeutics collaborated on a joint venture to form startup Casebia Therapeutics.

Under terms of the deal, PeptiDream is eligible to earn up to $1.1 billion when receive preclinical, clinical, and commercialization milestone payments are added in. PeptiDream will receive an undisclosed upfront payment plus funding for research, the company said.

PeptiDream Chief Executive Officer Patrick Reid said the deal with Bayer is one of the broadest discovery deals the company has entered into. The deal with Bayer includes peptide therapeutics and small molecule therapeutics, and options to peptide drug conjugates (PDCs), diagnostic agents, bioimaging agents, and more, he said.

This deal further exemplifies the power of our PDPS platform and the impact it is having on early drug discovery. We greatly look forward to working with Bayer to leverage both companies’ expertise and capabilities to discover and development the next generation of first-in-class and best-in-class therapeutics,” Reid said in a statement.

PeptiDream’s proprietary Peptide Discovery Platform System enables the production of highly diverse non-standard peptide libraries with high efficiency which then can be developed into peptide-based or small molecule-based therapeutics, according to company information. The size of macrocyclic and constrained peptides makes it likely they can cross the cell membrane and reach their targets. At a 2016 conference discussing the use of macrocyclic and constrained peptides in drug development, it was noted they have the safety and tolerability of biologics. Also, macrocyclic and constrained peptides have more potential surfaces with which to disrupt PPI targets, conference researchers said.

The deal with Bayer is the latest in a string of deals PeptiDream has entered into over the past few years. The Japanese company has deals with Amgen, AstraZeneca, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Eli Lilly, GlaxoSmithKline, Novartis, Mitsubishi Tanabe, Daiichi Sankyo, Merck and Sanofi . In April, the company struck a deal worth $1.15 billion with Johnson & Johnson to identify macrocyclic/constrained peptides against the metabolic and cardiovascular targets identified by that company’s pharmaceutical subsidiary Janssen.  


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