Prism offers Genentech peptide mimetic small-molecules library for multitarget collaboration
Jan 11, 2022
Jan. 11, 2022
Prism Biolab Co. Ltd. has added Genentech Inc. , a unit of Roche Holding AG, to the list of users for its peptide mimetic small-molecules library after signing a multitarget research collaboration and licensing agreement. Under the agreement, Tokyo-based Prism Biolab will open its Pepmetics Library, a library of peptide mimetic small molecules, to screen against targets selected by Roche and Genentech. “Once Genentech identifies hit compounds, they can elect to further develop and commercialize the compounds,” Dai Takehara, president and CEO at Prism Biolab, told BioWorld. Financially, the Japanese company will receive an up-front payment, success-based milestone payments and royalties on future net sales. Specific terms were not disclosed. Prism Biolab will now begin drug discovery with Genentech and Roche with the aim of developing new drugs, but neither Prism Biolab nor Roche provided a development timetable for the first drug in the collaboration. “Over the next few years, Roche and Genentech can nominate targets to screen,” a Roche spokesperson told BioWorld. “Upon identification of hit compounds, Roche and Genentech may elect to further develop and commercialize the compounds.”
The deal enables Prism Biolab to add to the number of users for its drug discovery platform. “We have a drug discovery platform of peptide mimetic small molecules, and provide this platform to global pharmaceutical companies to generate hit and lead compounds for drugs,” said Takehara. The collaboration enables Genentech and Roche to utilize the platform as well as their research capabilities to generate new drugs, he added. The deal with Prism Biolabs gives Genentech and Roche a new tool to tackle currently undruggable target spaces. “Novel modalities and enabling technologies to expand the druggable target space are one of the key areas of focus for our partnering efforts for drug discovery,” said the Roche spokesperson. Genentech and Roche have inked more than 15 discovery partnerships in this space across a range of therapeutic modalities, such as small molecules, proteins, gene therapy and cell therapy, to tackle targets both at the protein and the RNA level the spokesperson added. Founded in 2006, Prism has developed Pepmetics Technology, a small-molecule drug discovery platform. The molecules are designed to mimic ?-helix or ?-turn peptides, using a unique stable scaffold with corresponding dihedral angles. Those motifs are essential for protein-protein interactions within the cell, particularly for transcription and translation, said the company. Currently, Prism is in the clinic with two clinical-stage assets for cancer and fibrosis that have been developed and licensed using the platform. Prism is also collaborating with pharmaceutical companies both within and outside Japan to discover new drug targets. One of those collaborations is with Guildford, Conn.-based Inveniai LLC. Prism partnered with the company in September 2020 to develop a pipeline of therapeutic candidates addressing diseases in the gut that are associated with the dysfunction of the gut-brain-axis and inflammasome dysregulation. That collaboration will use Alphameld, Inveniai’s own platform, to identify and validate relevant targets, to develop transformative therapies for gut-related diseases. While Prism will also contribute its platform to design small-molecule candidates against targets validated by Inveniai, the U.S. company will pursue human proof-of-concept for all candidate drugs. Prism raked in up-front payments, development milestones and single-digit royalties under that deal. The Japanese company currently has two CREB-binding protein (CBP)/?-catenin inhibitors in clinical trials. “E7-386, which was licensed to Eisai Co. Ltd. for oncology, is in a phase I clinical trial and achieved clinical proof of concept, as announced in November 2021. Another CBP/?-catenin inhibitor, PRI-724, licensed to Ohara Pharmaceuticals Co. Ltd. to treat hepatic fibrosis, is in a phase IIa clinical trial,” said Takehara.