Astellas Pharma and PeptiDream to Collaborate on Discovering Protein Degraders

Astellas Pharma Inc. (TSE: 4503, President and CEO: Naoki Okamura) and PeptiDream Inc. (TSE: 4587, President and CEO: Patrick C. Reid) announced that they have joined forces in a research collaboration and license agreement with the aim of discovering innovative protein degraders for two specific targets selected by Astellas. As part of this agreement, Astellas retains the option to include up to three additional targets in the collaboration.

Astellas has a strong focus on targeted protein degraders, particularly those directed at challenging undruggable targets that are difficult to approach using conventional technologies. In this collaboration, PeptiDream’s PDPS (Peptide Discovery Platform System) technology*1 will be combined with Astellas’ drug discovery capabilities, aiming to uncover multiple next-generation protein degraders targeting diverse targets that surpass existing technologies. The responsibility for the development and commercialization of products resulting from this joint research effort lies with Astellas.

To facilitate this collaboration, Astellas will provide PeptiDream with an upfront payment of ¥3.0 billion. PeptiDream is eligible to receive discovery, development, and commercial sales milestones of up to ¥20.6 billion per target. Additionally, PeptiDream stands to receive single-digit percent royalty payments on net sales of any products arising from this fruitful partnership.

Adam Pearson, Chief Strategy Officer, Astellas, stated:

“Targeted Protein Degradation is one of the Primary Focuses of Astellas*2. We hope this collaboration will bring synergies between the two companies’ cutting-edge research and will ultimately lead to the expansion of Astellas’ portfolio and development of new therapeutics for patients with significant unmet medical needs.”

Keiichi Masuya, Chief Operating Officer, PeptiDream, commented:

“This transaction further validates the potential of our PDPS technology to obtain highly selective peptides, which enables creative approaches in the area of targeted protein degraders. We believe that through this research collaboration, we can leverage the strengths of both companies to advance the development of innovative drugs.”

The latest development comes after Astellas signed an agreement to licence 4D Molecular Therapeutics’ R100 vector, as announced on the 11th July, for a genetic target linked to rare monogenic ophthalmic diseases.