CAMBRIDGE, Mass.—Boston Pharmaceuticals has been busy today, announcing not just one but two deals with other pharmaceutical companies. The first is the in-licensing of a portfolio of five early development programs from GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) which includes two Phase 2-ready development candidates, one Phase 1-ready development candidate and two undisclosed preclinical programs with identified lead candidates. Financial terms of the transaction have not been disclosed.
Boston Pharmaceuticals will assume full responsibility from GSK to progress the clinical stage programs for: GSK3352589, a novel small molecule inhibitor of REarranged during Transfection (RET) tyrosine kinase, which has completed Phase 1 studies and will be developed for the treatment of Irritable Bowel Syndrome with Diarrhea (IBS-D); GSK3008356, a potent and selective small molecule inhibitor of Diglyceride Acyltranferase (DGAT) 1 which has completed Phase 1 studies and has application as a treatment for acne; and GSK3183475, a novel small molecule inhibitor of Bromodomain and Extra-Terminal, Second Bromodomain (BET BD2) which as a topical formulation has therapeutic potential to treat vitiligo and/or psoriasis and is Phase 1-ready.
The two undisclosed preclinical programs have specific lead candidates that are ready for IND-enabling studies, targeting therapeutic areas that do not overlap with the clinical stage assets.
“The licensing of these development assets is an important validation of our development team and capabilities and an affirmation of our strategy to assemble a diverse pipeline of clinical candidates across a broad range of indications,” said Robert Armstrong, PhD, CEO of Boston Pharmaceuticals. “We are making substantial progress in executing on our business model and are excited to advance these molecules into and through the clinic to evaluate their potential to improve patient lives.”
Boston Pharmaceuticals has also divulged a licensing and equity agreement with Novartis, through which Boston Pharmaceuticals will develop three novel anti-infective drug candidates that are part of the Novartis infectious diseases portfolio, which have the potential to address the need for new agents to treat antibiotic resistant Gram-negative infections.
“The need for new antibiotics that address drug resistant bacteria is clear and we are pleased to find a partner in Boston Pharmaceuticals who will dedicate the appropriate expertise and resources for the further development and commercialization of these programs,” pointed out Jay Bradner, MD, President of the Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research. “Drug discovery and development is a team sport and this agreement is part of our strategy to partner with like-minded innovators outside of our walls to further develop new innovative medicines focused on addressing global health challenges.”
Under the agreement terms, Boston Pharmaceuticals has acquired worldwide rights to two complementary candidates targeting carbapenem-resistant enterobacteriaceae (CRE), and one candidate targeting Pseudomonas. Novartis will receive an upfront payment and is entitled to royalties and milestone payments for successfully commercialized medicines. Novartis will also receive an equity stake in two new companies formed together with Boston Pharmaceuticals to further develop and commercialize these programs. Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
The candidates included in this transaction include: LYS228, a potential best-in-class monobactam which has entered Phase 2 clinical development and demonstrated activity against CRE with resistance caused by serine beta- lactamases (SBLs) and/or metallo beta-lactamases (MBLs); IID572, a novel beta-lactamase inhibitor that may be used in combination with LYS228 or other beta-lactam antibiotics to expand their use against difficult-to-treat infections caused by a broader spectrum of CRE; and MAK181, an oral, first-in-class LpxC inhibitor for Pseudomonas infections.
“The acquisition of these three novel anti-infective candidates further demonstrates our commitment to addressing unmet medical needs in order to benefit patients,” noted Armstrong. “Novartis has done a tremendous job advancing new solutions to infections caused by drug resistant Gram-negative pathogens and developing these innovative candidates with best-in-class or first-in-class potential. We look forward to building on this quality research as we advance these candidates.”