Wednesday, December 16, 2020
vTv Therapeutics Inc announced that vTv Therapeutics LLC (“vTv”) has entered into a licensing agreement with Anteris Bio for worldwide rights to vTv’s novel clinical-stage Nrf2 activator compound, HPP971. Anteris Bio, a newly-formed portfolio company of Aditum Bio, the biotech investment firm co-founded in 2019 by former Novartis CEO Joe Jimenez and former President of the Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research (NIBR) Dr. Mark Fishman, will focus on developing HPP971 as a new therapy for the treatment of renal disease.
HPP971 is vTv’s most advanced oral, small molecule activator of the Nrf2 pathway (nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor 2) within its portfolio of promising Nrf2 compounds. HPP971 has completed two phase 1 studies to date. Under the terms of the agreement, Anteris will pay vTv an upfront payment of $2 million and vTv may be eligible for up to $151 million of future development, regulatory and commercial sales milestones, as well as royalties on annual net sales at a low double-digit rate in exchange for worldwide development and commercialization rights to the compound. In addition, vTv will receive a minority equity interest in Anteris Bio.
“The Nrf2 pathway is a promising, novel target for combating many diseases related to oxidative stress, including renal disease,” said Steve Holcombe, president and chief executive officer of vTv Therapeutics. “We’re thrilled to partner with Anteris to further the development of HPP971. With a focus in renal disease and a strategic partnership with TrialSpark, they will have the ability to efficiently develop HPP971 to ultimately bring a potential new treatment option to patients suffering from kidney disease.”
Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is one of the most significant global health challenges and a leading cause of mortality, both directly and as a key risk factor for cardiovascular disease. Globally, it is estimated that nearly 700 million individuals suffer from CKD, and CKD is directly responsible for over 1 million deaths annually. Clear unmet medical need exists in renal disease as therapies have traditionally revolved around treatment of symptoms (e.g. hypertension, renal failure). HPP971, to be renamed ANT-401, is a small molecule activator of Nrf2, a mechanism which has disease modifying potential across multiple etiologies of renal disease. Nrf2 is a transcription factor required for the expression of many antioxidant genes regulated by the ARE promoter sequence. ANT-401 activates Nrf2 through the inhibition of Bach1, a transcription repressor that prevents Nrf2 activity in the nucleus.
vTv will continue to explore further internal development and partnership opportunities for the remaining molecules in its portfolio of Nrf2 activators.