Roche Inks Second Drug Discovery Deal With Jnana Therapeutics

  • Roche Holdings AG RHHBY has doubled down on a partnership with Jnana Therapeutics, paying $50 million upfront to tap its drug discovery platform across cancer, immune-mediated, and neurological diseases.
  • The collaboration allows Jnana to conduct discovery and preclinical activities against multiple cancer, immune-mediated and neurological disease targets, whereas Roche will develop and commercialize final products.
  • The new agreement has a potential deal value of around $2 billion. It comes two years after Roche paid $40 million upfront with $1 billion at the back end for a program targeting immune-mediated and neurological diseases.
  • Their earlier partnership, signed in 2020, covered small molecule drugs directed at SLC transporters, a class of more than 450 human membrane proteins that are gatekeepers for controlling the movement of metabolites in and out of cells and organs.
  • Alongside the deal, Jnana is also taking the wraps off a $107 million Series C that will fuel its internal efforts — particularly the lead program, an oral treatment for the rare metabolic disease phenylketonuria (PKU) currently in Phase 1.
  • Jnana said that the funding would allow it to take JNT-517 through proof-of-concept testing in PKU, a genetic disorder caused by an inability to break down the amino acid phenylalanine in the diet.
  • Price Action: RHHBY shares are up 0.65% at $41.54 on the last check Tuesday.
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