Authored by James Sheppard
Global biotech giant Genentech, part of Roche, announced a partnership with Iowa based biotech company NewLink Genetics. The partnership could be worth in excess of $1bn for NewLink if there assets hit certain predefined milestones.
Genentech will partner with NewLink to build a portfolio of programs pairing NewLink’s new class of checkpoint inhibitors with Genentech’s new PD-L1 drug. Specifically Genentech will be looking at NewLinks asset NLG919 which has gained significant plaudits in recent months.
In addition to the upfront payment of $150m Genentech is funding R&D, manufacturing and is providing direct research support to NewLink. NewLink will also retain certain US co-promotions rights as well as the right to proceed with new in-house combinations that match IDO inhibitors with TDO inhibitors.
Dr. Charles Link, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of NewLink said, ‘This alliance enables us to accelerate and expand development of NLG919 while we continue to advance our other promising clinical and preclinical development programs. Genentech’s oncology development expertise, commercial leadership and history of successful strategic alliances make it an ideal collaborator to bring the potential benefits ofNLG919 to patients.’
The deal sees the continuation of Genentech’s recent deal-making and follows Genentech’s earlier $1.7bn acquisition of Seragon Pharmaceuticals.