Swiss drugmaker Roche Holding AG, the world's largest biotech company is betting on the development of a new class of drugs by entering into a potential $1.1-billion deal with the US-based biopharmaceutical firm Aileron Therapeutics.
Roche and Aileron will collaborate to discover, develop and commercialise a new class of drugs called Stapled Peptide for up to five undisclosed targets selected from Roche's key therapeutic areas, which include oncology, virology, inflammation, metabolism and central nervous system (CNS).
Aileron aims to develop a stabilised peptide-a small protein that has the ability to deliver drugs to reach and penetrate target cells to ensure effective treatment of patients.
Aileron's proprietary technology locks peptides into their biologically active shape, mimicking the structures found in nature, and ultimately endows the peptide with unique and beneficial drug-like properties, including efficient cell penetration, high affinity binding to large target protein surfaces and excellent stability within the body.
Under the terms of the agreement, Roche will provide Aileron guaranteed funding of at least $25 million in technology access fees and R&D support. Aileron is eligible to receive up to $1.1 billion in payments upon the achievement of discovery, development, regulatory and commercialisation milestones, if drug candidates are developed against all five targets.
In addition, Aileron will receive royalties on future sales for any marketed products that result from the collaboration.