RARE Daily

Maze Forms Two Joint Ventures to Translate Genetic Insights into New Medicines

December 7, 2020

Rare Daily Staff

Maze Therapeutics has established two separate joint ventures focused on developing precision medicines, one that will focus on cardiovascular disease, and one that will focus on ophthalmic diseases.

The joint ventures will make use of the Maze COMPASS platform, which combines human genetics, functional genomics and data science to identify and prioritize drug targets for both rare and common diseases, validate drug targets and inform target tractability and clinical development. Maze aims to leverage this platform to translate the wealth of genetic opportunities it generates into new therapeutics.

Maze is teaming with BridgeBio Pharma to establish Contour Therapeutics to advance breakthrough precision medicine approaches designed to treat cardiovascular disease, the leading cause of death worldwide.

The joint venture unites Maze’s genetically driven approach to drug discovery, as well as insights from its proprietary platform, with BridgeBio’s expertise in cardiac drug discovery and clinical development. Together, the companies will focus on advancing genetically validated therapeutic candidates through clinical development and will initially work on the development of a treatment for patients with an undisclosed, genetically defined form of heart failure.

“We believe our joint venture with Maze holds great promise for patients as we bring together innovative leaders in cardiology and genetics,” said Neil Kumar, founder and CEO of BridgeBio. “The identification and targeting of genetically defined patient populations has created elegant and clinically meaningful medicines in oncology and other therapeutic areas. We feel strongly that one of the next frontiers in precision medicine lies in helping people suffering from cardiovascular disease, and we are excited to be on the front lines of advances in this field.”

The Contour JV builds on ongoing progress in identifying and targeting genetic causes of cardiovascular diseases, including BridgeBio’s precision medicine approach at its affiliate Eidos Therapeutics designed to treat transthyretin amyloidosis, an under-diagnosed and life-threatening cause of heart failure. The Maze and BridgeBio partnership also builds on seminal advances in the treatment of inherited cardiomyopathies, including at MyoKardia, a company co-founded by senior leaders at BridgeBio and Maze.

“Cardiovascular disease is a deadly and widespread health problem across the world, but unfortunately, innovations in new treatment approaches have been limited,” said Jason Coloma, CEO of Maze. “Since we launched Maze, we have been focused on the advancement of our COMPASS platform, on which we’ve made important progress and gained confidence in the genetics we are focused on, as well as novel insights into how to best develop therapies for patients with cardiovascular disease.”

Maze also teamed up with Alloy Therapeutics, a company developing platforms and services to enable drug discovery, to form Broadwing Bio to develop targeted antibody therapies for the treatment of ophthalmic diseases for which effective therapeutic options are limited.

Broadwing Bio will advance programs directed to genetically validated ophthalmology targets identified using Maze’s COMPASS platform. Alloy Discovery Services will generate therapeutic candidates using Alloy’s broad suite of antibody discovery technologies, including the ATX-Gx mouse platform.

Under the terms of their agreement, Maze and Alloy will fund Broadwing Bio to rapidly advance its programs through preclinical and clinical development with the opportunity for independent financing and partnering. Maze and Alloy will retain certain rights to participate in the development and commercialization of products originating from Broadwing Bio. Andrew Peterson, founder and CEO of Broadwing Bio will lead the company. He is a former senior director of molecular biology and metabolic disease at Genentech.

“Maze is advancing a pipeline of programs based on genetic insights of disease, without restrictions on modality or therapeutic area,” said Maze CEO Coloma. “This joint venture will allow us to pursue compelling Maze-identified targets through a dedicated organization with the experience and focus to develop highly differentiated therapies addressing unmet needs in ophthalmology, while retaining significant financial participation and product rights.”

Photo: Jason Coloma, CEO of Maze

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