2024-02-27| LicensingPartnerships

Neomorph Links Together With Novo Nordisk in a $1.46 Billion Molecular Glue Partnership Deal

by Richard Chau
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On February 26, Neomorph announced that it has inked a $1.46 billion collaboration and licensing agreement with Novo Nordisk to embark on the discovery, development, and commercialization of molecular glue degraders (MGDs). 

Founded in 2020 and venture-backed by Deerfield Management Company, one of the world’s largest dedicated healthcare investment firms, the California-based biotech brings its expertise in therapeutic innovation, while the Danish pharma giant contributes its extensive experience in diabetes, obesity, and rare blood disorders to this promising partnership.

Related article: Targeted Cancer Therapy Breakthrough: Degrader-Antibody Conjugates (DACs) Advance to Clinical Trials 

Understanding Molecular Glue Degraders: Revolutionizing Targeted Protein Degradation

Molecular glue degraders (MGDs) have emerged as a promising strategy for targeted protein degradation, a burgeoning area in the discovery and development of innovative therapeutics. 

This group of unique small molecules acts as bridges between proteins within cells, facilitating specific protein-protein interactions (PPIs), which allow proximity-induced protein degradation by triggering ubiquitin-proteasome activity. Having distinct biological activities and favorable physicochemical properties, MGDs open avenues for targeting proteins once deemed undruggable by conventional small molecules. 

Partnership Terms and Future Prospects

Under the terms of the agreement, Neomorph stands to receive upfront and near-term milestone payments, along with R&D funding, while also being eligible for future clinical, commercial, and sales milestone payments. The total potential deal value for multiple targets is projected to reach $1.46 billion, in addition to tiered royalties. Neomorph will spearhead discovery and preclinical activities against selected targets, with Novo Nordisk having exclusive rights to further clinical development and commercialization of the compounds, showcasing a strategic alignment of expertise and resources.

Dr. Phil Chamberlain, Co-Founder, President, and CEO of Neomorph, did not contain his excitement about the partnership with Novo Nordisk. “By combining Neomorph’s proprietary molecular glue discovery platform with Novo Nordisk’s vast experience in cardiometabolic and rare diseases, we are well positioned to develop transformative treatments in these areas. This collaboration will enable the expansion of our platform into new therapeutic areas, complementing our on-going efforts in oncology,” said Dr. Chamberlain. 

Brian Vandahl, Senior Vice President of Global Research Technologies at Novo Nordisk, also expressed enthusiasm about the deal, highlighting Novo Nordisk’s commitment to exploring novel technology platforms for addressing chronic diseases. “We are pleased to enter this research collaboration and eager to start the scientific work on the novel class of molecular glue degraders being pioneered by Neomorph.”

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