Research Triangle Park – Durham-based biotechnology start-up Tavros Therapeutics has partnered with Vividion Therapeutics, a subsidiary of Bayer AG, to discover new targets and treatments for cancer.
The companies said they have entered into a collaborative agreement to pursue four oncology targets over five years. Under the terms of the transaction, Tavros will receive $17.5 million in cash up front from Vividion, and as potential future payments he will receive $17.5 million in cash if certain preclinical, clinical development and commercial milestones are achieved. Eligible for $403.5 million. Tavros may also receive low-single-digit royalties on certain potential program sales.
Vividion has the option to track five more targets, with future payouts potentially as high as $482 million.
Tavros was launched in 2020 by Dr. Eoin McDonnell, a graduate of Molecular Cancer Biology at Duke University, and Kris Wood, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Pharmacology and Cancer Biology at Duke University. An emerging biotech company uses a high-throughput functional genomics discovery platform to find inherent weaknesses in cancer cells exposed by drug treatments. By uncovering these genetic vulnerabilities within tumors, Tavros can direct the right drug combinations to the right patients to treat cancer more effectively.
The company, which focuses on areas of high unmet clinical need, says its goal is to improve patient outcomes while reducing treatment toxicity and speeding development.
Vividion tackles disease-associated proteins, which have been difficult to treat. These proteins are difficult for small-molecule drugs to latch onto and are often considered undrugable. The company uses a fragment-based screening platform to covalently tag reactive cysteine residues in proteins to find previously unknown or overlooked small-molecule scaffolds.
The partnership between Vividion and Tavros will allow Tavros to take over Vividion’s ability to “drug the traditionally undrugable” and expand its precision oncology platform to new targets, said Tavros CEO and co-founder. said McDonnell. “We have entered into a partnership with Vividion to leverage the combined expertise of both companies to discover and treat next-generation high-value targets and increase the efficacy of novel compounds to help patients with difficult-to-treat cancers. I am very happy to be able to reach
Vividion CEO Jeffrey Hatfield said that after decades of effort, “many targets remain inaccessible to traditional small molecule drugs, and many others have unknown relevance to disease. This collaboration combines two orthogonal, highly innovative and synergistic approaches to drug discovery that address both of these challenges.”
Based in San Diego, California, Vividion was acquired by Bayer in 2021. Bayer operates as a wholly owned and independently operated subsidiary of a global healthcare and agricultural giant.
Tavros just closed its $7.5 million oversubscribed Seed II funding, co-led by Piedmont Capital Investments and KdT Ventures, at the end of September. Piedmont Capital also provided him with $3 million in funding to help launch the company in 2020.
(C) NC Biotech Center