Partnering News: Pfizer, Vertex & AbbVie

A roundup of bio/pharmaceutical partnering news from Pfizer/Roivant Sciences, Vertex Pharmaceuticals/Entrada Therapeutics and AbbVie/AbCellera 

* Pfizer, Roivant Form new Company for Inflammatory Disease 
* Vertex, Entradatx in $735-M Drug Pact for Rare Muscular Disease 
* AbbVie, AbCellera In Antibody-Drug Pact 

Pfizer, Roivant Form New Company for Inflammatory Disease 
Pfizer and Roivant Sciences, a New York-based bio/pharmaceutical and healthcare technology company, have formed a new subsidiary to develop and commercialize Roivant’s drug candidates for treating inflammatory diseases and fibrosis.  

Roivant Sciences consists of multiple wholly owned or majority-owned biopharmaceutical subsidiaries (so-called “Vants”), each focused on a different disease area. The company employs a “hub and spoke” model for research and development, whereby each biopharmaceutical subsidiary functions as an independent entity (“spoke”) using shared resources from the parent (“hub”). Other Vants consist of technology-based platforms that support the operations of the biopharmaceutical Vants. 

The new “Vant” formed by Pfizer and Roivant will develop Roivant’s RVT-3101, a fully human monoclonal antibody targeting tumor necrosis factor-like cytokine 1A (TL1A), now in Phase IIb development, to treat ulcerative colitis (UC). The Vant also has the exclusive option to collaborate with Pfizer on a TL1A directed antibody that recently entered Phase I. 

A new Roivant subsidiary has been created to develop and fund these programs with Pfizer taking a 25% in the new Vant. The new company will be responsible for funding global development of RVT-3101 in UC and in additional inflammatory and fibrotic diseases and will hold commercial rights of RVT-3101  in the US and Japan. Pfizer will hold commercial rights outside of the US and Japan and will have representation on the new company’s Board of Directors. 

In addition, the new Vant has the exclusive option to collaborate with Pfizer on the TL1A-directed antibody that  recently entered Phase I. It will have the right to enter into an agreement for global development with a 50/50 cost share as well as co-commercialization rights with Pfizer prior to Phase II (expected in 2025). 

Roivant has made other large deals. In early 2020, it closed a $3-billion strategic alliance with Sumitomo Dainippon Pharma, to form a new company, Sumitovant Biopharma, which took ownership of five Roivant Vants  or bio/pharma companies. These were: Myovant Sciences (women’s health and prostate cancer), Urovant Sciences (urinary diseases), Enzyvant Therapeutics (pediatric rare diseases), Altavant Sciences (respiratory rare diseases), and Spirovant Sciences (genetic lung disease) as well as Sumitomo taking ownership of certain technology platforms. Sumitomo Dainippon Pharma also took an 11% equity stake in Roivant Sciences. 

Source: Roivant Sciences 

Vertex, Entradatx in $735-M Drug Pact for Rare Muscular Disease 
Vertex Pharmaceuticals, a Cambridge, Massachusetts-based bio/pharmaceutical company, and Entrada Therapeutics, a Boston-based bio/pharmaceutical company, have formed a collaboration, worth up to $735 million ($26-million equity investment, $224-million upfront, and $485 million in milestone payments), to develop drugs to treat myotonic dystrophy Type 1 (DM1), a rare muscular disease. 

The collaboration seeks to use Entrada’s expertise in delivering drug via an intracellular pathway using Entrada’ proprietary Endosomal Escape Vehicle (EEV) platform. The key drug under the collaboration is Entrada’s ENTR-701, which is in late-stage preclinical development. The agreement includes a four-year global research collaboration under which Entrada will advance and receive payments for certain research activities related to ENTR-701, as well as additional DM1-related research activities. Vertex will be responsible for global development, manufacturing, and commercialization of ENTR-701 and any additional programs stemming from Entrada’s DM1 research efforts. 

Under the agreement, Entrada will receive an upfront payment of $224 million and equity investment by Vertex of $26 million. Entrada is eligible to receive up to $485 million for the successful achievement of certain research, development, regulatory, and commercial milestones as well as tiered royalties on future net sales for any products that may result from the collaboration. 

Source: Vertex Pharmaceuticals 

AbbVie, AbCellera In Antibody-Drug Pact 
AbbVie and AbCellera, a Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada-based bio/pharmaceutical company, have entered a multi-year, multi-target agreement for the development of up to five antibody drug candidates.  

The partnership will use AbCellera’s antibody discovery and development engine to deliver optimized development candidates for up to five targets selected by AbbVie across multiple indications. 

Under the agreement, AbbVie has the right to develop and commercialize therapeutic antibodies resulting from the collaboration. AbCellera will receive research payments and is eligible to receive downstream clinical and commercial milestone payments and royalties on net sales of products. 

Source: AbCellera