Aurigene a discovery stage biotechnology company, developing novel and best-in-class therapies to treat cancer and inflammatory diseases, announced today the nomination of the development candidate and exercising of the option for CA-327, an oral, small molecule immune checkpoint antagonist targeting programmed death ligand-1 (PD-L1) and T-cell immunoglobulin and mucin domain containing protein-3 (TIM-3) by Curis, Inc.
CA-327 is the third program in the Aurigene – Curis collaboration signed in January 2015. The first two programs under the collaboration are an orally available small molecule antagonist of programmed death ligand-1 (PD-L1) and V-domain Ig suppressor of T cell activation (VISTA) in the immuno-oncology field, and an orally available, small molecule inhibitor of Interleukin-1 receptor-associated kinase 4 (IRAK4) in the precision oncology field.
In September 2016 the agreement was amended allowing Aurigene to invest upto to 10.2 million shares of Curis’s common stock in lieu of $24.5 million of milestone and other payments.
“We are pleased with the progress of our collaboration,” said Dr. Ali Fattaey, Curis’s CEO, “and look forward to working with our partner, Aurigene, to complete IND-enabling studies for CA-327 in the coming months and expect to file an IND in 2017.”
“We are delighted that our collaboration is advancing its third small molecule program in less than two years,” said CSN Murthy, Aurigene’s CEO. “We continue to work closely with Curis to focus our collective resources, creating and developing innovative drug candidates in the field of oncology, including multiple first-in-class oral small molecule checkpoint antagonists within immuno-oncology. For Aurigene, this demonstrates the validation of its platform technology in the development of oral checkpoint inhibitors, with the second program (PD-L1/ TIM3) rapidly advancing to candidate nomination status after the PD-L1/ VISTA program. This allows us to confidently make progress on other checkpoint targets in the I/O space in the coming months and years”.
Aurigene is a discovery stage biotechnology company, developing novel and best-in-class therapies to treat cancer and inflammatory diseases. Aurigene’s PD-L1/Vista small molecule program that is currently being investigated in a Phase 1 trial in patients, is the first of several immune checkpoint programs at different stages of discovery and preclinical development. Aurigene has signed four licensing deals for multiple programs in the last three years, covering immune-oncology and epigenetic pathway programs. Of these, one program is in Phase 1 clinical development, IND/ CTA has been filed for a second program, and two programs are currently in IND-enabling pre-clinical studies. Among others, Aurigene has advanced stage assets targeting: (a) RORg for autoimmune diseases in IND enabling studies (b) Novel NAMPT inhibitors for oncology, in preclinical development, (c) Covalent CDK7 inhibitors for oncology, in late lead optimization stage, and (d) Covalent and G12C selective KRAS small molecule inhibitors in preclinical development.
About the Curis Collaboration
On January, 2015, Aurigene entered into collaboration, license and option agreement focussed on immuno-oncology and selected precision oncology targets with Curis, Inc., a biotechnology company focused on the development and commercialization of innovative drug candidates for the treatment of human cancers.
The agreement provides Curis the option to license-in programs when a development candidate is nominated. The first two licensed programs under the collaboration are an orally available small molecule antagonist of PD-L1/ VISTA in the immuno-oncology field, and an orally available, small molecule inhibitor of IRAK4 in the precision oncology field. With the licensing of CA-327, a third licensed program has been added to the portfolio of compounds under development by Curis.
In partial consideration for the rights granted to Curis under the collaboration agreement, Curis issued about 17.1 million shares of common stock to Aurigene, and additional development and regulatory milestones of over $ 200 million, apart from commercialization rights for the programs in India and Russia, sharing of value in non-US/ EU makets with Aurigene, Drug Substance and Drug Product manufacturing rights and royalties on net sales ranging between high single digits to 10%
In September 2016, the Agreement between the partners was amended allowing Aurigene to invest upto to 10.2 million shares of Curis’s common stock in lieu of $24.5 million of milestone and other payments.
Director Corporate Development & Strategy
+91 – 40 – 4465 7777