Catalent Biologics collaborates with Roche on SMARTag technology


Deal could be worth up to US$619m to Catalent in upfront fee, plus milestone and royalty payments

Drug delivery company Catalent, through its subsidiary, Redwood Bioscience, has agreed a research collaboration with Roche to develop next-generation molecules coupling different therapeutic modalities using Catalent's proprietary SMARTag technology.

Roche will have non-exclusive access to the SMARTag platform and will have an option to take commercial licences to develop molecules directed to a defined number of targets.

The Swiss pharmaceutical firm will pay Catalent an up-front fee of US$1m and provide additional research funding during the initial phase of the collaboration.

Catalent also has the potential to receive up to $618m in development and commercial milestones, plus royalties on net sales of products, if Roche pursues commercial licences and all options are exercised.

Combining SMARTag, Catalent's programmable protein-modification technology, with the highly stable hydrazino-Pictet-Spengler (HIPS) conjugation platform, will permit evaluation of alternative sites of drug conjugation so that Roche may develop molecules optimised for efficacy, safety and stability, the firm said.

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'Roche is a pioneer and leader in biologics for oncology and beyond, and we look forward to working with the Roche team to support development of their next generation of medicines,' said Mike Riley, Catalent Biologics’ Vice President/General Manager. 'Our goal is to combine our differentiated SMARTag technology with Roche's expertise to create new transformational treatments.'