Day One Biopharmaceuticals has signed a global license agreement and research partnership with Sprint Bioscience to advance Vaccinia-related kinase 1 (VRK1) programme.
As per the terms of the deal, Sprint will receive $3m as upfront payment. Day One will also reimburse Sprint for pre-clinical research and development expenses.
Additionally, Sprint will receive nearly $313m as milestone payments along with royalties pending achievement of some research, development, regulatory and commercial outcomes.
Day One Biopharmaceuticals research and development head and co-founder Dr Samuel Blackman said: “This collaboration is an important continuation of measured portfolio development at Day One, which focuses on targeted therapies for children and adults with cancer in need of novel treatment approaches.
“We look forward to collaborating with Sprint Bioscience, who has strong discovery and research expertise, and working to advance the VRK1 programme through lead optimisation and into the clinic.”
VRK1 is involved in cell division regulation and DNA damage repair. Its over-expression leads to cancer in adult and paediatric population.
It has been identified as a synthetic lethal target in tumours where expression of its paralog, VRK2, is lost.
Majority of patients with high-grade gliomas and high-risk neuroblastomas have showed silencing of VRK2 expression through promoter methylation thereby providing a concrete approach for selecting patients with tumours sensitive to VRK1 inhibition.
Day One’s product portfolio including its lead product candidate tovorafenib is an oral, brain-penetrant, highly-selective type II pan-RAF kinase inhibitor.
Its pipeline also includes pimasertib, an oral, highly-selective small molecule inhibitor of mitogen‐activated protein kinases 1 and 2.