Pharma, R&D

Bayer AG taps PeptiDream in billion-dollar deal

Continuing to beef up its pipeline in the wake of this year’s string of R&D deals, Bayer AG has become the latest Big Pharma partner to team up with Japan’s PeptiDream.

Bayer is paying PeptiDream an undisclosed upfront payment, and could fork over as much as $1.11 billion in milestone payments for help discovering and developing peptide therapeutics.

Patrick Reid

As part of the deal, PeptiDream will use its platform tech to identify macrocyclic/constrained peptides against multiple targets of interest selected by Bayer, and optimize hit peptides into therapeutic peptides or small molecules. Bayer will have the right to develop and commercialize all compounds resulting from the collaboration.

“This is one of the broadest discovery deals PeptiDream has entered into, covering peptide therapeutics and small molecule therapeutics, and options to peptide drug conjugates (PDCs), diagnostic agents, bioimaging agents, and more,” said Patrick Reid, CEO of PeptiDream, in a statement. “This deal further exemplifies the power of our platform and the impact it is having on early drug discovery.”

This collaboration is the latest in a string of PeptiDream’s Big Pharma partnerships. Over the past seven years, the company has inked deals with 17 large pharmaceutical companies, including Janssen, Genentech, Merck, Sanofi, Novartis, Amgen, and several others.

Bayer is building its R&D pipeline following the unexpected mid-stage flop of its experimental cancer drug anetumab ravtansine (touted as a $2 billion-plus peak earner). The new deal with PeptiDream comes days after it paid $400 million upfront on a collaboration with Loxo Oncology and its TRK inhibitor franchise. The deal could also be worth over $1 billion in milestone payments.

And last year, Bayer committed $300 million to back Casebia, a joint venture with CRISPR Therapeutics. Casebia is focusing on blood disorders, blindness and congenital heart diseases and Bayer plans to use the startup as an R&D base to take a deep dive into gene editing for ag purposes.

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