FACIT portfolio companies Propellon Therapeutics and Triphase Accelerator Announce $1B USD Partnership with Celgene for First-in-class WDR5 Leukemia Therapy
- The $1 billion (USD) strategic partnership with Celgene represents the largest oncology licensing transaction for a preclinical asset in Canadian history.
- The made-in-Ontario therapy, discovered by OICR, disrupts cancer activities by targeting the WDR5 protein. WDR5 is critical for regulating the health of our genes and DNA; its deregulation has been found to cause several blood cancers, including leukemia.
- The partnership will give rise to:
- expansion of R&D activities and jobs;
- financial returns, enabling FACIT to re-invest in Ontario entrepreneurs and begin to help address the province’s need for healthcare seed capital;
- clinical trials and manufacturing in Ontario;
- accelerated access by Ontario cancer patients to this novel experimental therapy.
- OICR’s Drug Discovery program discovered a first-in-class experimental medicine, which targets the WDR5 protein. FACIT then created and seeded Propellon Therapeutics to advance the WDR5 platform.
- During this process, FACIT provided interim executive management, executed a global business development strategy to identify international partners, and operationalized the start-up.
- Multiple formal competing licensing offers were solicited from the U.S., Europe and Japan, reflecting the high quality of science in the Ontario-based program. While numerous strategic options were considered, FACIT ultimately chose the path most beneficial to Ontario stakeholders.
- Propellon transferred the intellectual property to Triphase for clinical development. Under the agreement, Celgene has the option to acquire the potential therapy relating to the first-in-class WDR5 inhibitor from Triphase.
Read the news release here.