Genentech signs deal with Parvus to tackle inflammatory diseases

Canada’s Parvus Therapeutics has signed a deal with Roche’s Genentech unit to develop, manufacture and market drugs for inflammatory bowel disease, autoimmune liver diseases, and coeliac disease.

The companies have not disclosed the upfront payment that sealed the arrangement, but Parvus will receive payments when certain research, development and marketing goals are met for each area within the collaboration.

However the deal is reportedly worth around $800 million in total as Calgary-based Parvus is also eligible to receive certain additional milestone payments in other disease areas, as well as royalties on net sales of products resulting from the collaboration.

Parvus will conduct pre-clinical development through phase 1, after which time Genentech will take over and oversee trials from phase 2 and beyond, including global regulatory filings and marketing across the world.

The biotech brands its drugs as “Navacims” – precision medicines designed to trigger a naturally occurring immunoregulatory mechanism of the mammalian immune system that has evolved to protect against autoimmune disease.

These drugs target T-cell receptors on disease relevant T-cells, causing prolonged cellular signals that stimulate regulatory T-cell differentiation.

The goal is to only down-regulate the part of the immune system that causes autoimmune disease, without suppressing the action of other parts of the system that could lead to increased chances of infection and other problems.

This is the second partnership with big pharma that Parvus has struck – in 2017 it announced a deal to develop and market a nanomedicine with Roche’s Swiss rival Novartis to treat type 1 diabetes.

James Sabry, global head of pharma partnering at Roche, said: “Parvus’ technology represents a potentially transformative approach for treating autoimmune diseases by inducing immune tolerance without causing generalized immune suppression.

“In preclinical testing, Parvus’ platform has shown the ability to induce and expand disease-specific regulatory T cells, which restore immune system balance and halt the autoimmune disease process. We look forward to working with the Parvus team to hopefully bring this exciting advancement to patients.”

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