2023-04-24| Partnerships

Novartis Lays Down $40 Million for 3BP’s FAP-Targeting Oncology Tech

by Reed Slater
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In an effort to expand its presence in oncology even further, Novartis agreed to pay German biotech company 3B Pharmaceuticals GmbH $40 million upfront for the exclusive worldwide rights to develop and commercialize the company’s fibroblast activation protein (FAP)-targeting oncology med, FAP-2286. The deal could allow 3BP to rake in another $425 million contingent upon development, regulatory, and commercial milestones.

Related Article: Clovis Offloads Cancer Candidate to Novartis, Day After Declaring Bankruptcy

FAP-Targeting Tech’s Promise

Founded in 2008, 3BP is dedicated to developing radiopharmaceutical therapies to treat and diagnose areas of oncology with high unmet needs. 3BP’s FAP-targeting is one of its leading assets due to its potential to treat a wide variety of cancer types.

FAPs are molecules highly expressed on cancer-associated fibroblasts (CAFs) and play a significant role in epithelial cancer growth and progression. According to 3BP, more than 90% of epithelial tumors contain FAP-expressing CAFs, making FAPs a valuable and flexible target for many different cancer indications like breast, colorectal, pancreatic, and more. 

3BP’s lead candidate, FAP-2286, leverages the FAP-targeting technology and is now the focus of the deal with Novartis. The clinical candidate is made of two components. The first is a targeting peptide that binds to FAP, and the second is a site that radioactive isotopes can attach to for imaging and therapeutic use.

Terms of the Deal

Initially, 3BP and Clovis Oncology partnered to develop FAP-2286, but after Clovis’ recent bankruptcy debacle, Novartis stepped in to help continue developing the promising clinical candidate. 

According to the new deal, Novartis agreed to pay 3BP $40 million upfront for FAP-2286, holding up to $425 million in biobucks subject to development, regulatory, and commercial milestones. 3BP could also rake in some extra cash post-approval from tiered royalties on net sales. 

Dr. Ulrich Reineke, Managing Director of 3BP, said, “We have focused for many years on developing a peptide technology platform to create innovative radiopharmaceuticals and this agreement validates the value of 3BP’s platform. This partnership will allow us to continue to expand our core competencies and dedicate resources to the further development of our pipeline.” 

With Novartis coming forward to take over the reins in the partnership, FAP-2286 is in as good of hands as ever. The clinical candidate is currently in Phase 1 trials, which 3BP will hopefully provide updates for eventually. 

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