Companies sign multi-year development agreement.

Connecticut-based biotechnology company Arvinas has signed an agreement with Pfizer for the discovery and development of drug candidates designed to degrade several key disease-causing proteins in multiple therapeutic areas.

Pfizer will pay Arvinas up to $830 million in upfront and potential development and commercialization milestone payments for use of the latter’s proprietary PROTAC (PROteolysis TArgeting Chimeras) platform technology. Arvinas may also earn tiered royalties based on global product sales for any products that are developed through the collaboration.

Arvinas will be responsible for conducting the discovery efforts, while Pfizer will conduct clinical development and commercialization of any candidates identified through the collaboration. The PROTAC technology is used to create small-molecule therapeutics aimed at degrading disease-causing cellular proteins. 

The PROTAC Platform offers potential improvements over traditional small molecule inhibitors by using the cell’s natural and selective ubiquitin-proteasome system to degrade disease-causing proteins, according to Arvinas (http://arvinas.com/news-publications/press-releases/). By removing target proteins directly rather than simply inhibiting them, PROTACs can provide multiple advantages over small molecule inhibitors that can involve high systemic exposure and result in toxic side effects and eventual drug resistance. Arvinas has demonstrated that with the PROTAC platform, a transient binding event at a range of binding sites and affinities can translate into potent degradation of the target protein.

“As a global industry leader, Pfizer is uniquely positioned to partner with us as we exploit the potential of PROTACs in multiple disease areas,” stated John Houston, Ph.D., President and Chief Executive Officer of Arvinas. “This marks another key milestone as we continue to expand the use of our targeted protein degradation platform and advance Arvinas’s first candidates into the clinic.”

“Protein degradation is an area of considerable interest for us, and we look forward to working with Arvinas to determine the potential applicability of this approach across multiple therapeutic areas,” said John Ludwig, Ph.D., Head of Medicinal Sciences at Pfizer.