ThromboGenics, a biotechnology company, has achieved an important milestone in the advancing of the pre-clinical development of its THR-149, a novel plasma kallikrein inhibitor, which the company is developing for the treatment of diabetic macular edema (DME). Following this announcement, ThromboGenics will now start pivotal tox studies which are a last step before starting the clinical development which is expected for early 2018.
THR-149 is a bicyclic peptide (Bicycle) identified as a lead candidate in the alliance between ThromboGenics and Bicycle Therapeutics, a biotechnology company pioneering a new class of therapeutics based on its proprietary bicyclic peptide (Bicycle) product platform.
Under the terms of the alliance agreement, ThromboGenics has an exclusive license to undertake pre-clinical and clinical development and subsequent commercialization of a specified drug candidate; in return Bicycle Therapeutics receives development milestone payments and royalties on sales of products resulting from the collaboration.
Bicycles are a novel class of small molecule medicines designed to overcome many of the limitations of existing drug modalities. They can be used as standalone therapeutic entities or coupled to deliver a variety of therapeutic payloads, and exhibit the affinity and exquisite target specificity usually associated with antibodies but in a small molecule format enabling rapid tissue penetration and flexible routes of administration.
"I am happy to report this important progress in our partnership with Bicycle Therapeutics," said Dr. Patrik De Haes, MD, chief executive officer of ThromboGenics NV. "We believe that THR-149, a novel plasma kallikrein inhibitor, holds great promise for ophthalmology applications, expanding the range of treatment options available for people with diseases of the eye, particularly DME. We are rapidly moving towards the clinic, and expect to begin clinical development of THR-149 in early 2018."
"We're delighted to be realizing the first milestone from our Bicycle alliance with ThromboGenics and to see another Bicycle to be advancing towards the clinic for the treatment of a significant disease, in this case DME" said Dr. Kevin Lee, Ph.D., chief executive officer of Bicycle Therapeutics. "This achievement further validates Bicycle's technology and confirms the potential for Bicycles to be developed as a new therapeutic modality option to address a broad range of poorly treated diseases. We are continuing to expand our pipeline through strategic research collaborations which will extend our reach into new therapeutic areas and allow us to explore new applications for the Bicycle platform."