Arrowhead Research, a clinical stage targeted therapeutics company, has signed a research collaboration and license agreement with Shire, a specialty biopharmaceutical company, to develop and commercialize targeted peptide-drug conjugates (PDCs) by utilizing Arrowhead's human-derived Homing Peptide platform and Shire's therapeutic payloads.
Arrowhead will receive research funding and could be eligible for development, regulatory and commercialization milestone payments of up to $32.8 million for each development candidate, plus additional milestone payments for a second indication, and royalties on worldwide sales. Additional financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
In the collaboration, Arrowhead will identify peptides that selectively bind and internalize in an undisclosed tissue type and that are capable of delivering a therapeutic payload to that tissue. The company will receive funding for its internal and external research program-related costs and Shire will have an option to obtain an exclusive license to develop and commercialize a therapeutic agent targeted by the designated peptides and be responsible for clinical development and commercialization of products arising from the collaboration.
"Shire's expertise in developing innovative medicines for rare diseases makes them an ideal partner for Arrowhead as we advance our platform of human-derived Homing Peptides," said Dr. Chris Anzalone, president and CEO of Arrowhead. "Our library of over 42,000 unique targeting peptide sequences can potentially be used to deliver therapeutics to more than 30 tissue types while avoiding non-specific uptake. We view this collaboration as a significant validation of our technology and discovery capabilities. Moreover, this agreement underscores our strategy of building value by developing an internal pipeline of PDCs and RNAi therapeutics and by working with partners to improve their proprietary medicines with our peptide targeting."
Dr. Phil Vickers, head of R&D at Shire HGT, said, "With this novel platform technology, Shire has the potential to move into a wider range of orphan diseases. Our goal is to develop treatments that profoundly change the lives of patients with a variety of rare life-altering and life-threatening conditions.”