Pharma Focus Asia

Bayer acquires Noria and PSMA Therapeutics to expand portfolio in prostate cancer

Friday, June 04, 2021

Bayer today announced that it has entered into an agreement to acquire Noria Therapeutics Inc. (Noria) and PSMA Therapeutics Inc. Through this acquisition Bayer will obtain exclusive rights to a differentiated alpha radionuclide therapy based on actinium-225 and a small molecule targeting prostate-specific membrane antigen (PSMA). The acquisition broadens Bayer’s existing oncology portfolio of targeted alpha therapies (TAT), which currently includes Xofigo™ (radium-223 dichloride) and the proprietary platform of investigational TATs based on thorium-227. The pre-IND program focuses on the treatment of prostate cancer, the second most commonly diagnosed cancer in men. Based on its unique design, this therapy could provide a differentiated efficacy and safety profile and offer significant potential to address a high unmet medical need for men with prostate cancer.

“Bayer is focused on addressing the various medical needs of cancer patients, providing treatments that improve patient outcomes throughout the different stages of the disease,” said Robert LaCaze, Member of the Executive Committee of the Pharmaceuticals Division and Head of the Oncology Strategic Business Unit at Bayer. “This acquisition is another important milestone in enhancing Bayer’s oncology portfolio through both in-house expertise and strategic collaborations and agreements.”

The companies acquired by Bayer, Noria and PSMA Therapeutics, have exclusive world-wide rights to technology licensed from Weill Cornell Medicine (New York, NY, USA) and Johns Hopkins University (Baltimore, MD, USA). Noria was founded by Dr. John Babich, Chief, Radiopharmaceutical Sciences in Radiology at Weill Cornell Medicine.

“Weill Cornell Medicine is committed to bringing our faculty’s innovations to market so that patients can benefit from the latest therapeutics,” said Dr. Lisa Placanica, Senior Managing Director Center for Technology Licensing at Weill Cornell Medicine. “Bayer’s acquisition of Noria and PSMA Therapeutics, which have nurtured Dr. Babich’s radiopharmaceutical and diagnostic technology, is an important milestone in drug development, and we look forward to the advances this collaboration can make to enhance prostate cancer therapies.”

With the first and only approved targeted alpha therapy Xofigo and its unique experience across the value chain from early research to supply, Bayer has successfully established TAT as part of standard of care for prostate cancer patients globally. Adding an innovative actinium-225-labeled small molecule to the company’s platform of investigational targeted thorium conjugates, which it is developing for multiple cancers, the company will advance differentiated treatment options for cancer patients that can make a real difference.

“Despite increased cancer survivorship overall, there continues to be significant unmet need in oncology,” said Marianne De Backer, MBA, PhD, Member of the Executive Committee of the Pharmaceuticals Division and Head Strategy and Business Development & Licensing at Bayer. “We remain committed to exploring collaborations for innovative and pioneering scientific therapeutic options for patients with unmet needs.”

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