Wednesday, September 14, 2022
METiS Therapeutics, a biotechnology company based in the Boston area, which combines AI and machine learning with drug discovery and delivery, has officially entered into a license agreement with Voronoi, Inc., a Korean precision medicine company. According to the terms of this agreement, METiS will exclusively license Voronoi's pan-RAF inhibitor program for worldwide development and commercialization. In exchange for this license, Voronoi will receive upfront cash of up to $1.7 million, as well as near-term discovery milestone payments. Additionally, Voronoi stands to gain success-based payments totaling up to $480.5 million for development, regulatory, and sales milestones, along with tiered royalties based on annual net sales.
Chris Lai, Co-Founder and CEO of METiS Therapeutics, stated, "We believe that this program has the potential to be a leading asset in addressing the significant unmet needs of patients with Class II and Class III BRAF mutant cancers, particularly those with central nervous system metastasis. We view it as an exciting proof-of-concept opportunity for our AiTEM platform to optimize compound pharmacokinetics and offer a differentiated profile, including improved CNS penetration. Moreover, we consider this asset as foundational to our oncology portfolio."
BRAF, a protein kinase involved in cancer cell growth, is associated with various mutations found in tumor cells. While several BRAF v600E inhibitors have received approval, this mutation accounts for only 45% of total BRAF mutations, with Class II and Class III mutations constituting the remaining 55%. This underscores the need for new therapeutic options in this field.
Daekwon Kim, CEO of Voronoi, expressed, "We developed our structurally distinct type II pan-RAF inhibitor to address unmet medical needs, and this partnership brings us closer to our goal of delivering this candidate to patients. We are thrilled to collaborate with METiS' experienced team to further the development of our pan-RAF inhibitor."
This announcement follows METiS' recent inclusion in the Roche Accelerator program and their successful completion of an $86 million Series A financing round. The company has also secured a 14,000 square feet facility comprising office and laboratory space at 101 Cambridgepark Drive in Cambridge, MA. These milestones signify METiS' commitment to advancing innovative solutions in the field of biotechnology and precision medicine.