Novartis and Japanese biopharmaceutical company PeptiDream have expanded their partnership for the discovery of peptides.

Under the multi-programme deal, PeptiDream will leverage its Peptide Discovery Platform System (PDPS) technology to detect and streamline macrocyclic peptides against targets chosen by Novartis.

The developed peptides will be conjugated with radionuclides to form radioligand therapies (RLTs) or other applications for therapeutic and diagnostic purposes.

PeptiDream will receive Y28.03bn ($180m) as an upfront payment from Novartis, and Y422.03bn in milestone payments on meeting development, regulatory and commercial goals.

Novartis will also make tiered royalty payments on net product sales.

The latest deal builds upon the peptide-drug conjugate partnership initiated in 2019 and extends the partnership that began in 2010, including the licensing of PDPS technology to Novartis in 2015.

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PeptiDream CEO Patrick Reid stated: “We are delighted to further expand our long-standing macrocyclic peptide discovery collaboration with Novartis, adding additional peptide RLT and other programmes to our strong partnership.

“As macrocyclic peptides continue to be the ideal vectors for the targeted delivery of a variety of therapeutic payloads, PeptiDream continues to build an extensive pipeline of partnered as well as internal peptide-conjugate programmes.”

The completion of the transaction is contingent upon obtaining consents and approvals.

Novartis Oncology Research global head Shiva Malek stated: “We are enthusiastic about the progress we’ve made with PeptiDream through our long-standing research collaboration and look forward to continuing our work together as we strive to create impactful new therapies for patients.

“Our expanded partnership reflects our shared commitment to pioneering science that broadens the scope of transformative therapeutic approaches such as RLT.”

The latest development comes after Novartis reported net income from continuing operations of $2.68bn for the first quarter (Q1) of 2024, a 25% increase from $2.15bn in Q1 2023.