Exelixis has signed an exclusive license agreement with Ryvu Therapeutics to develop new targeted cancer therapies.
These therapies will be developed using Ryvu’s stimulator of interferon genes (STING) technology.
The deal expands Exelixis’ biotherapeutics portfolio by combining its tumour-specific targeting approaches with the Ryvu’s agonist technology.
Exelixis Scientific Strategy executive vice-president and chief scientific officer Peter Lamb said: “Ryvu’s portfolio of STING agonists comprises compounds with diverse drug-like attributes that have been extensively characterised.
“This includes small molecule agonists with demonstrated activity against all STING variants that are suitable for incorporation into ADCs.
“We believe that these properties will support the development of novel, STING-targeted therapies with the potential to provide benefit to more patients across diverse cancer indications, which is a critical priority for everyone at Exelixis.”
Under the agreement terms, Ryvu will receive $3m upfront payment from Exelixis in exchange for certain rights to its STING agonist small molecules.
The company will also be eligible for development, regulatory and commercialisation milestone payments along with tiered royalties on the annual net sales of products commercialised under the collaboration.
Exelixis will be responsible for the research activities. On selecting each development candidate, it will handle all activities related to the development and commercialisation.
Ryvu will provide expert guidance during the partnership’s early research phase and retain all the development and commercial rights for the development of its STING agonist portfolio.
Ryvu chief scientific officer Krzysztof Brzózka said: “Ryvu has leveraged its in-depth structural protein knowledge to rationally design small molecules that are structurally distinct from known STING agonists and outperform most other potentially competitive compounds in in vitro immune cell assays.”