Disc Medicine pays $10M upfront for monoclonal antibody for rare blood disorder, cancer
Hematology-focused Disc Medicine has agreed to pay a $10 million down payment to Mabwell Therapeutics to develop and commercialize a portfolio of monoclonal antibodies for blood disorders.
It’s the first deal Disc has made since it went public in August.
The initial $10 million is a small piece of a potential $412.5 million of milestone payments and royalties of “close to two digit percentage” of net sales. Disc will have rights in the US, Europe and other unnamed territories outside of China and Southeast Asia. The monoclonal antibodies target transmembrane serine protease 6.
One of the candidates included in the deal is MWTX-003, a monoclonal antibody injection for a rare blood disorder and blood cancer. It’s known as 9MW3011 outside of the US.
According to Mabwell, there are no “mature and effective” macromolecular drugs for its potential target indications: beta thalassemia, an inherited blood disorder, and polycythemia vera, a type of blood cancer. The drug works by controlling iron levels to treat hematologic disorders.
The FDA approved the candidate for an IND in November, and the plan is to start a Phase I trial in healthy volunteers in the second half of 2023.
Disc has taken over the portfolio as its first deal after the company went public via a reverse merger with Gemini Therapeutics. Disc is now trading under the stock symbol $IRON, in reference to Disc’s lineup of therapies for blood iron disorders.
Along with the merger, Disc secured $53.5 million in a financing round in August on top of the $90 million Series B it raised in September 2021.
Also in August last year, Disc started a Phase II trial in Australia for its former Roche drug, bitopertin, that flopped in its previous indication of schizophrenia, instead looking at two rare blood diseases — erythropoietic protoporphyria and X-linked protoporphyria. The company is now planning additional studies for the drug in Diamond-Blackfan anemia.
Disc has an anemia drug in its pipeline, DISC-0974, licensed from AbbVie in 2019. The company started a Phase Ib/II study in patients with myelofibrosis anemia in 2022 and is planning additional studies for anemia linked to chronic kidney disease.