Life Sciences

Orionis Biosciences Announces Collaboration with Genentech to Discover and Develop Molecular Glue Class Medicines

Orionis Biosciences, a privately held life sciences company with an integrated drug discovery and chemical biology platform, announced today a multi-year collaboration with Genentech, a member of the Roche Group, to discover novel small molecule medicines for challenging targets in major disease areas, including oncology and neurodegeneration.

Orionis’s Allo-Glue™ platform utilizes multiple unique approaches to discover drug-like small molecules against disease targets that have remained elusive to traditional discovery approaches. The platform integrates a suite of proprietary chemical biology technologies, including biological assays, computational analyses, chemical libraries and automated processes for high throughput discovery, rational design and optimization of small molecules that promote or induce interactions of proteins in living cells. This includes molecular glues that can promote interactions leading to either target degradation (through virtually any ligase) or modulation of target function, via either direct or allosteric mechanisms. Both target-centric and ligase-driven discovery paradigms are enabled and leveraged in a synergistic manner in the company’s overall approaches to molecular glue discovery.

Under the terms of the agreement, Orionis will be responsible for the discovery and optimization of molecular glues for Genentech’s designated targets, while Genentech will be responsible for subsequent later-stage preclinical, clinical development, regulatory filing, and commercialization of such small molecules. Orionis will receive an upfront payment of $47 million and is eligible for development milestone payments, as well as commercial and net sales milestone payments that could exceed $2 billion and a tiered royalty upon sale of collaboration products.

“Molecular glues represent one of the most exciting recent developments in small-molecule drug discovery. We are thrilled to collaborate with Genentech, a company long known for its world-class science and trailblazing medicines, to make use of technological innovations that we have systematically evolved over the past years to unlock novel target space with such drug modalities,” said Nikolai Kley, Co-Founder and CEO of Orionis Biosciences. “We could not be more excited about the potential for this pioneering collaboration to lead to impactful new treatment paradigms.”

Riccardo Sabatini, Orionis Chief Data Scientist, added, “It is exciting to see how synergies created by the integration of our biological, chemical and computational technologies are being leveraged for the discovery and design of molecular glues.”

“Molecular glue degraders are an exciting modality to target disease-related proteins that have proven challenging with more traditional treatment modalities,” said James Sabry, Global Head, Roche Pharma Partnering. “For patients with unmet needs, this offers a new therapeutic approach to modulate major disease drivers. This collaboration enables us to apply the concept of targeted protein degradation to discover and develop medicines for patients with serious and life-threatening diseases.”