Aileron Therapeutics and Roche announced today that they have entered into a collaboration to discover, develop, and commercialize a new class of drugs called stapled peptide therapeutics. Roche will provide Aileron guaranteed funding of at least $25 million in technology access fees and R&D support.
All told, the company is eligible to receive up to $1.1 billion in payments upon the achievement of discovery, development, regulatory, and commercialization goals if drug candidates are developed against all five targets. Aileron will have substantial responsibility to develop drug candidates against these targets up to the clinical stage. The targets will be selected from Roche’s key therapeutic areas including oncology, virology, inflammation, metabolism, and CNS. Aileron will also receive royalties on future sales for any marketed products that result from the collaboration.
Stapled peptides are a result of Aileron’s peptide stabilization technology, which locks peptides into their biologically active shape, mimicking the structures found in nature. This process captures the best features of both small molecules and therapeutic proteins, according to Aileron. These include efficient cell penetration, improved pharmacokinetics, high-affinity binding to large target protein surfaces, and excellent stability within the body, the firm reports.
“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,” says Jean-Jacques Garaud, global head of Roche Pharma Research and Early Development.