SpringWorks Therapeutics Expands Targeted Oncology Pipeline with Exclusive Worldwide License to TEAD Inhibitor Portfolio
- TEAD Inhibition Represents an Emerging Approach for Addressing Multiple Biomarker-Defined Cancers Characterized by Aberrant Hippo Pathway Signaling, which is Genetically Altered in up to 10% of Cancers -
- SpringWorks Expects to Nominate a Development Candidate and Commence IND-Enabling Studies in 2022 -
STAMFORD, Conn., May 06, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- SpringWorks Therapeutics, Inc. (Nasdaq: SWTX), a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on developing life-changing medicines for patients with severe rare diseases and cancer, today announced that it has entered into an exclusive worldwide license agreement with Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (KU Leuven) and the Flanders Institute for Biotechnology (VIB) for the in-license of a portfolio of novel small molecule inhibitors of the TEA Domain (TEAD) family of transcription factors, designed for the potential treatment of biomarker-defined solid tumors driven by aberrant Hippo pathway signaling.
“We are very pleased to expand our portfolio with the in-licensing of these selective and potent TEAD inhibitors, which are highly complementary to our strategy of developing novel targeted therapies for patients with biomarker-defined tumors,” said Saqib Islam, Chief Executive Officer of SpringWorks. “Based on the compelling in vitro and in vivo data generated to date, we believe that the CD3 and VIB team has created unique and differentiated chemical matter that lays the foundation for SpringWorks to advance a potentially best-in-class targeted oncology opportunity on behalf of patients with devastating cancers. We look forward to nominating a development candidate from this portfolio and commencing IND-enabling activities next year.”
“Since first identified by our group and others in the fruit fly Drosophila almost 20 years ago, the Hippo pathway has come to be recognized as a central regulator of cell proliferation and organ growth. Given that the Hippo pathway is genetically altered in up to 10% of cancers, TEAD inhibition holds great promise as a therapeutic approach,” said Professor Halder. Patrick Chaltin, Ph.D., Managing Director of CD3 at KU Leuven, added: “This agreement demonstrates CD3’s strong drive to translate promising scientific insights into novel therapies that improve patients’ lives, and we are very proud and excited to collaborate with SpringWorks given their success in rapidly advancing new targeted oncology treatments on behalf of patients.”
Under the terms of the agreement, SpringWorks will pay KU Leuven and VIB an upfront payment of $11 million. KU Leuven and VIB are also eligible to receive up to $285 million in development, regulatory and commercial milestones from SpringWorks and tiered single-digit percentage royalties based on any future net sales.
About the Hippo Pathway and TEAD
The Hippo pathway is an evolutionarily conserved signaling cascade that regulates organ development and tissue growth and regeneration. The TEA Domain (TEAD) family is a group of four homologous transcription factors whose activity is regulated by the Hippo pathway. The TEAD family is the terminal component of the Hippo pathway and transcriptional activity of this family has been implicated in a variety of tumors characterized by aberrant Hippo signaling. Transcription of TEAD target genes requires TEAD to form a transcriptional complex with the co-activators YAP or TAZ. Activation of the Hippo pathway prevents YAP and TAZ from translocating to the nucleus, preventing TEAD-dependent transcription. Aberrations and genetic mutations that limit Hippo pathway activation can result in significant increases in TEAD dependent transcription and have been identified as key drivers in several tumor types, including subsets of mesothelioma, non-small cell lung cancer, head and neck cancer, and kidney cancer.
About SpringWorks Therapeutics
SpringWorks is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company applying a precision medicine approach to acquiring, developing and commercializing life-changing medicines for underserved patient populations suffering from devastating rare diseases and cancer. SpringWorks has a differentiated portfolio of small molecule targeted oncology product candidates and is advancing two potentially registrational clinical trials in rare tumor types, as well as several other programs addressing highly prevalent, genetically defined cancers. SpringWorks’ strategic approach and operational excellence in clinical development have enabled it to rapidly advance its two lead product candidates into late-stage clinical trials while simultaneously entering into multiple shared-value partnerships with industry leaders to expand its portfolio. For more information, visit www.springworkstx.com and follow @SpringWorksTx on Twitter and LinkedIn.
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