US biotechnology company Bioverativ has entered a new research collaboration with UK-based Bicycle Therapeutics to discover, develop and commercialise new therapies for haemophilia and sickle cell disease.

Bicycle Therapeutics is a biotechnology company that focuses on the development of a new class of therapeutics based on its latest bicyclic peptide (Bicycle) product platform.

Bicycle is a new therapeutic modality that combines characteristics of antibodies, small molecules and peptides within one molecule.

This allows high selectivity and affinity while concurrently being able to penetrate and bind to the target(s) of interest within the patient’s body.

Bioverativ research and development executive vice-president Dr Tim Harris said: “This collaboration offers a unique opportunity to identify an entirely new therapeutic modality that may lead to meaningful new treatments and outcomes for people living with haemophilia and sickle cell disease.

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“We are delighted to be working with Bicycle to pursue our shared goal of creating progress for patients with great unmet treatment needs.”

"We are delighted to be working with Bicycle to pursue our shared goal of creating progress for patients with great unmet treatment needs."

Under the collaboration, the companies will jointly work to identify and develop new Bicycle products to treat rare blood disorders.

With the execution of the agreement, Bicycle Therapeutics will receive an upfront payment of $10m and near-term research and development funding of $4.2m.

The company is also eligible to receive up to $410m in payment related to development, regulatory and commercialisation milestones for products planned under the two programmes, along with tiered single-to-low double-digit royalties related to product sales.

Bicycle Therapeutics will spearhead the initial discovery activities, from lead optimisation to candidate selection, for two programmes, and Bioverativ will be responsible for leading preclinical and clinical development, in addition to conducting subsequent marketing and commercialisation of the new therapies.

Image: Sickle-cells in human blood. Photo: courtesy of Dr Graham Beards.