2022-06-06| Funding

Proxygen Eligible For €495 Million in Molecular Glue Degrader Collaboration with Merck KGaA

by Reed Slater
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Vienna-based Proxygen, a molecular glue degrader-based discovery company, announced a strategic collaboration with Germany-based Merck KGaA, which includes up to €495 Million. The funding includes upfront continuous research and development financing and potential milestone payments in pre-clinical, clinical, regulatory, commercial successes, and royalties. 


The Industry’s Growing Interest In Molecular Glue Degrader Technology


Proxygen’s announcement came not too long after Evotec, and Bristol Myers Squibb announced a potential $5 billion expansion in protein degradation. Glue degraders and their potential benefits have risen in the ranks of industry focus. 

Molecular glue degraders are used when proteins accumulate and have the potential to cause cancer. Glue degraders target specific proteins and eliminate cancerous cells while keeping healthy cells intact. 

Proxygen points to two multiple myeloma protein degrading drugs, Revlimid and Pomalyst, as successful drugs associated with molecular glue degradation. It also points out that the discovery of the drugs was fortuitous, and more effective drug discovery tools need to be refined to uncover more therapy targets.


Related Article: Evotec Expands Partnership with Bristol Myers Squibb for Potential $5 Billion Deal


Proxygen’s Glue Degrader Discovery Engine


Proxygen says glue degraders are vital to the future of healthcare because they could unlock a new array of innovative therapies that have been unattainable with traditional drug discovery approaches. It also says it has streamlined the genomic, proteomic, and biochemical technologies to make a highly-versatile drug discovery engine. Merck and its other partners will have access to potentially very high-value information to develop new therapies through their deal. 

Merck KGaA recently engaged in another strategic partnership with Amphista Therapeutics focusing on the discovery and development of targeted protein degradation. That deal includes a potential of €39 million. 

CEO of Proxygen, Dr. Bernd Boidol, said, “The partnership validates the unique potential of Proxygen’s glue degrader platform and strategically leverages our common strengths in the targeted protein degradation field.”

Though the high value of the deal is exciting, Proxygen is up against some strong competition in the data collection and drug discovery space. MAINE, MiBiOmics, and OneOmics Suite are among the most popular multi-omic data tools available. Perhaps by tailoring its tool to glue degraders, Proxygen will see success in its niche. 

The drug discovery engine is the main asset in the deal, but Proxygen did note that it is advancing its internal programs for clinical development. Along with a big partnership expanding the drug discovery tool program, Proxygen will have the funds to focus on drugs of its particular interest. 

The future for molecular glue degradation technology looks bright. As it is taking off, Proxygen is along for the ride, hoping to provide a crucial key to the mysteries of cancer therapy. 

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