SAN MATEO, Calif. & SAN DIEGO — Belharra Therapeutics, a privately held drug discovery company with a novel photoaffinity-based, non-covalent chemoproteomics platform, today announced a multi-year collaboration with Genentech, a member of the Roche Group. The companies will collaborate employing Belharra’s proprietary platform to discover and develop small molecule medicines in multiple therapeutic areas including oncology, immuno-oncology, autoimmune, and neurodegenerative diseases.
Belharra’s innovative platform builds on a legacy of chemoproteomics drug discovery to identify functional and actionable small molecule ligands for protein targets using a unique approach to capture the interaction of tagged compounds with the human proteome. The company’s proprietary screening library enables Belharra scientists to identify any binding site, on any protein, in any conformational state, in any cell type.
Under the terms of the agreement, Belharra will be responsible for discovery and early preclinical development of small molecules against Genentech’s designated targets, while Genentech will be responsible for late preclinical, clinical, and regulatory development, and commercialization of such small molecules. In return, Belharra will receive an upfront cash payment of $80 million. Over the course of the collaboration, Belharra is eligible to receive development, commercial, and net sales milestones that could exceed $2 billion and a tiered royalty on Genentech’s sale of collaboration products.
For certain oncology or immunology programs to be designated by Genentech, Belharra will have an option to co-develop such programs’ compounds through Phase 1 and to co-fund the remaining development of those programs’ compounds in exchange for a US cost/profit split and ex-US milestone payments and royalties.
“We are excited to work with Genentech and leverage its industry-leading biological acumen to develop novel drug candidates for key therapeutic targets across a range of severe diseases for which patients currently lack adequate treatments,” said Jeff Jonker, CEO of Belharra. “Genentech is long recognized for its dedicated pursuit of groundbreaking science to illuminate the drivers of disease and enable the discovery and development of transformational medicines. This collaboration further underscores the promise of Belharra’s novel platform to advance that cause.”
“Our collaboration with Belharra gives Genentech access to a drug invention platform that allows us to interrogate important therapeutic pathways and targets that we strongly believe drive disease pathogenesis, but have proven to be inaccessible to conventional approaches,” said James Sabry, MD, PhD, Global Head of Pharma Partnering at Roche. “Partnering with early-stage companies like Belharra provides Genentech with yet another way to advance groundbreaking science to discover and develop medicines for patients with serious and life-threatening diseases.”
About Belharra Therapeutics
Belharra Therapeutics, Inc. is a privately held drug discovery company pioneering a novel photoaffinity-based chemoproteomics platform to disrupt the drug discovery paradigm. Guided by a diverse team of biotech trailblazers, Belharra’s proprietary discovery engine is uniquely capable of identifying novel, non-covalent small molecule starting points for developing transformative medicines to address previously difficult-to-treat diseases and conditions. The company’s next generation chemoproteomics platform enables Belharra scientists to identify small molecule drug candidates for any binding site, on any protein, in any conformational state, in any cell type. Originating with Christopher G. Parker, Ph.D. and John Teijaro, Ph.D. at Scripps Research and pioneers in the field of chemical biology and serial biotech founders Benjamin Cravatt, Ph.D. at Scripps Research and Stuart Schreiber, Ph.D. at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, the four co-founded Belharra Therapeutics in 2021 with a $50M Series A financing from Versant Ventures and incubation at Inception Therapeutics. Belharra is headquartered in the San Francisco Bay Area with its primary lab and offices in San Diego, California. To learn more, please visit www.belharratx.com.