Roche signs development deal with Aileron

Could be worth up to US$1.1bn in payments

Swiss pharmaceutical group Roche has entered a US$1.1bn drug development deal with US-based biopharmaceutical firm Aileron Therapeutics.

Aileron, based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, is developing a new class of drugs called stapled peptides, which the company says offer efficient cell penetration, high affinity binding to large target protein surfaces and excellent stability within the body.

Roche will work with Aileron to develop drug candidates against five undisclosed targets selected from Roche’s key therapeutic areas of central nervous system, inflammation, metabolism, oncology and virology.

Under the terms of the agreement, Roche will provide Aileron with guaranteed funding of US$25m in technology access fees and r&d support.

Aileron has built up a pre-clinical pipeline focusing on cancer, infectious disease, metabolic disease and immune and inflammatory diseases.

The firm will receive up to US$1.1bn in payments only if drug candidates are successfully developed against all five targets, as well as royalties on any future sales.

‘Roche is dedicated to advancing innovative therapies, and stapled peptides represent a potentially transformative new technology to create drugs for important disease targets that are intractable to currently available modalities,’ said Jean-Jacques Garaud, global head of Roche Pharma Research and Early Development.

Joseph Yanchik, ceo of Aileron added: ‘We took our time to consider carefully several opportunities for our first industry collaboration, and believe that Roche is an ideal partner for Aileron because of its history with peptide therapeutics and its commitment to tackling difficult disease targets.’