Ventus to receive $70 million upfront, with potential additional milestones of up to $633 million plus potential royalty payments and R&D funding
Collaboration combines Ventus’ lead NLRP3 inhibitor program with Novo Nordisk’s deep expertise across cardiometabolic diseases
Ventus to retain full rights to its brain-penetrant NLRP3 inhibitor and certain other NLRP3 inhibitors
WALTHAM, Mass. and MONTREAL, September 29, 2022 — Ventus Therapeutics, Inc., a biopharmaceutical company utilizing structural biology and a proprietary computational chemistry platform to identify and develop small molecule therapeutics across a broad range of diseases, announced today that the company has entered into an exclusive worldwide license agreement with Novo Nordisk A/S to develop and commercialize candidates from Ventus’ portfolio of peripherally-restricted NLRP3 inhibitors.
“This is an important collaboration for Ventus that validates our structural biology capabilities to discover and develop highly differentiated molecules with novel chemical structures,” said Marcelo Bigal, M.D., Ph.D., President and CEO of Ventus. “We believe Novo Nordisk is the ideal partner to advance our lead NLRP3 program in a broad range of systemic disease areas in which they have deep expertise, such as cardiometabolic diseases.”
Under the terms of the agreement, Novo Nordisk will make an upfront payment of $70 million in cash to Ventus and provide research and development funding. In addition, Ventus will be eligible to receive up to an additional $633 million in potential clinical, regulatory, and commercial milestones as well as tiered royalties.
In exchange, Novo Nordisk will receive exclusive worldwide rights to develop and commercialize Ventus’ lead NLRP3 inhibitor program for a broad range of diseases, including nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), chronic kidney disease, and other cardiometabolic conditions.
Ventus retains the right to develop NLRP3 inhibitors for certain systemic diseases, including specific inflammatory and respiratory diseases. In addition, Ventus retains worldwide rights to the company’s distinct brain-penetrant NLRP3 inhibitor program.
“NLRP3 is a biologically relevant target with significant potential across a number of liver, kidney, and cardiometabolic diseases,” said Karin Conde-Knape, Senior Vice President of Global Drug Discovery at Novo Nordisk. “Ventus has developed a highly differentiated NLRP3 inhibitor program with best-in-class properties and compelling pre-clinical results. We are excited to partner with Ventus to advance this program to provide meaningful clinical benefit to patients within a broad range of diseases.”
For more information about Ventus’ NLRP3 program and pipeline, visit www.VentusTx.com.
NLRP3 is a member of a family of proteins known as inflammasome receptors and is integral in the formation of the NLRP3 inflammasome. Inflammasomes are multiprotein complexes that regulate the innate immune system and are involved in intracellular surveillance of danger signals that trigger an intense inflammatory response, via generation of IL-1β, IL-18 and lytic cell death termed as pyroptosis. Therapeutic inhibition of NLRP3 can, therefore, prevent the formation of the NLRP3 inflammasome, which in turn inhibits the production of IL-1β and IL-18. Aberrant activation of the NLRP3 inflammasome has been associated with systemic conditions, including fibrotic, dermatological, and rheumatological diseases, and figures prominently in several neurological disorders, including Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and multiple sclerosis.
About Ventus Therapeutics
Ventus Therapeutics is a biopharmaceutical company deploying leading-edge structural biology and computational chemistry tools to create novel small molecule medicines for challenging targets, with an initial focus on immunology, inflammation and neurology. The Company’s proprietary drug discovery platform ReSOLVE gives it the ability to discover and develop medicines through unique insights into protein targets and to create dynamic blueprints that can guide the development of differentiated small molecule medicines. The Company’s lead programs target key innate immune modulators, including NLRP3 and cGAS. The Company aims to use its ReSOLVE platform to improve the way medicines are discovered and developed, with the ultimate goal of restoring the health of people facing serious illnesses. For more information, please visit www.ventustx.com and engage with Ventus on Twitter @Ventus_Tx or on LinkedIn.
This press release contains forward-looking statements about future expectations, plans and prospects, including, but not limited to, statements related to the anticipated benefits of the executive leadership team, Ventus’ business strategy, current programs, future results of operations, and financial position. These forward-looking statements are based on the Company’s current expectations and inherently involve significant risks and uncertainties. Actual results and the timing of events could differ materially from those anticipated in such forward-looking statements as a result of these risks and uncertainties, which include, without limitation, the timing, progress, and results of preclinical and clinical studies involving its development programs; the results of its earlier studies not being predictive of future results; its ability to enhance the ReSOLVE platform; its ability to continue to obtain funding for its operations and to implement its business strategy; the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on its business and its efforts to address the impact on its business; anticipated developments related to its competitors and its industry; the performance of third-party service providers, including suppliers and manufacturers; and its ability to obtain, maintain, and protect its intellectual property. Any forward-looking statements contained in this press release speak only as of the date hereof, and Ventus undertakes no duty or obligation to update any forward-looking statements as a result of new information, future events, or otherwise.