Roche strikes potential $555 million deal with New Delhi’s Curadev

Development and commercialization of cancer immunotherapeutics is the goal

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NEW DELHI—Curadev Pharma Private Ltd. has entered into a research collaboration and exclusive license agreement with Roche for the development and commercialization of IDO1 and TDO inhibitors. The agreement covers the development of the lead preclinical immune tolerance inhibitor and a research collaboration with Roche's research and early development organization to further explore the IDO and TDO pathways.
IDO1 (indoleamine-2, 3-dioxygenase-1) and TDO (tryptophan-2, 3-dioxygenase) are enzymes that mediate cancer-induced immune suppression. This mechanism is exploited by tumor cells as well as certain types of immune cells, limiting the anti-tumor immune response.
Dual inhibition of the IDO1 and TDO pathways promises to maintain the immune response, prevent local tumor immune escape and potentially avoid resistance to other immunotherapies when used in combination, and could lead to new treatment options for cancer patients. Curadev's preclinical lead-compound, a small-molecule that shows potent inhibition of the two rate-limiting enzymes in the tryptophan-to kynurenine metabolic pathways, has the potential for mono therapy as well as in combination with Roche's broad oncology pipeline and portfolio.
"We are very excited to be working with the global leader in oncology with their unrivalled expertise in clinical development," said Arjun Surya, Ph.D., chief scientific officer at Curadev in a statement. "The collaboration acknowledges our focused research efforts on patient-critical drug targets that have yielded a drug candidate that could make a significant difference in the development of novel treatments for patients suffering from cancer."
Under the terms of agreement, which includes a research collaboration with Roche's research and early development organization to further extend Curadev's findings, Curadev will receive an upfront payment of $25 million and will be eligible to receive up to $530 million in milestone payments based on achievement of certain predetermined events and sales levels as well as escalating royalties potentially reaching double digits for the first product from the collaboration developed and commercialized by Roche. Curadev would also be eligible for milestones and royalties on any additional products resulting from the research collaboration. Roche will fund future research, development, manufacturing and commercialization costs and will also provide additional research funding to Curadev for support of the research collaboration.
Headquartered in New Delhi, India, Curadev Pharma Private Limited focuses on the creation and out-licensing of pre-IND assets and IND packages for drug development. The company was founded in 2010 by a team of professionals from the pharmaceutical and biotech sectors with the mission to improve human health and enhance the quality of human life by accelerating the discovery and delivery of new drugs. The organization has built an elite team of scientific investigators fully capable of handling the breadth of activities involved in drug discovery and delivery.
Curadev has deep academic links with active research groups across the world. Using an unusual and creative business model, Curadev incubated its drug discovery chemistry labs at the Indian Institute of Technology at Kanpur. The company has also successfully incubated the research for a novel formulation at the University of Greenwich, U.K., with broad applications that will improve the solubility and delivery of a number of drugs.
Curadev is positioned as an elite small molecule drug discovery group with whom global pharmaceutical majors can co-develop drugs. Global partners are looking for research groups that can match them in the technical and strategic aspects of discovery. Curadev considers itself to be among the rare few who have the right mix of scientific capabilities, process innovation and nimbleness to considerably shrink the discovery time.

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