RARE Daily

Neomorph Enters Multi-Target Molecular Glue Degraders Collaboration with Novo Nordisk

February 27, 2024

Rare Daily Staff    

Neomorph has entered into a collaboration and licensing agreement with Novo Nordisk to discover, develop and commercialize molecular glue degraders for cardiometabolic and rare diseases.

“Novo Nordisk is expanding its drug discovery efforts and deploying a range of novel technology platforms with the aim of discovering and developing new treatment solutions for people living with serious chronic diseases,” said Brian Vandahl, senior vice president of global research technologies at Novo Nordisk.

The collaboration, potentially valued at up to $1.5 billion, leverages Neomorph’s molecular glue discovery platform and Novo Nordisk’s expertise in cardiometabolic and rare diseases.

Under the terms of the agreement, Neomorph will receive an upfront and near-term milestone payments, plus R&D funding. Neomorph is also eligible to receive future clinical, commercial and sales milestone payments, plus tiered royalties. Neomorph will lead discovery and preclinical activities against selected targets with Novo Nordisk having the right to exclusively pursue further clinical development and commercialization of the compounds.

“By combining Neomorph’s proprietary glue discovery platform with Novo Nordisk’s vast experience in cardiometabolic and rare diseases, we are well positioned to develop transformative treatments in these areas,” said Phil Chamberlain, co-founder, president and CEO of Neomorph. “This collaboration will enable the expansion of our platform into new therapeutic areas, complementing our on-going efforts in oncology.”

Targeted protein degradation drugs work by repurposing the cellular machinery to destroy proteins linked to disease. Small molecule campaigns are typically limited to targets shown to be druggable. Druggable targets have a binding pocket that can support high-affinity binding to a drug molecule with appropriate properties for clinical use. Binding alone is often insufficient to achieve a biological effect, so drug binding in the pocket must also perturb cellular biology in a way that is clinically beneficial.

However, many disease-causing proteins lack druggable binding pockets, or drug binding alone does not cause the desired biological effect, and these targets have been considered undruggable. Targeted protein degradation offers a path to solving this problem by triggering the destruction of the target protein by the 26S proteasome, thereby removing all of the associated biological activities. Molecular glue drugs are able to bypass the requirement of a druggable binding pocket on the target protein, and as such offer a differentiated approach to drug discovery with different rules and the potential to target a broad section of the proteome.

Photo: Phil Chamberlain, co-founder, president and CEO of Neomorph

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