GlaxoSmithKline and IDEAYA Biosciences have announced a strategic partnership in synthetic lethality, an emerging arm of oncology and a core research focus for GSK.
In synthetic lethality, cells can cope with the loss of single genes in isolation but a combination of deficiencies in two or more genes leads to cell death. When tumour suppressor genes are functionally lost in cancer, this mode of action can be used to exploit tumour-specific vulnerabilities through new medicines for patients with cancer.
The partnership includes IDEAYA’s synthetic lethality programs MAT2A, Pol Theta, and Werner Helicase programmes, which should reach clinical trials within the next three years.
IDEAYA has solved the crystal structures for each these programmes, facilitating structure-based drug design, and has demonstrated in vivo proof of concept in relevant animal models for its MAT2A and Pol Theta programmes.
“GSK is the ideal strategic partner for IDEAYA, as this partnership enables compelling potential combinations and the opportunity to build the industry leading synthetic lethality pipeline that targets molecularly defined populations in several major solid tumours, including potentially lung, prostate, breast, colorectal, and ovarian cancer,” said Yujiro S. Hata, the firm’s chief executive and president.
Under the terms of the partnership, IDEAYA will lead the MAT2A programme through early clinical development and is responsible for all costs prior to the GSK option exercise, after which it is responsible for 20% of global development costs.
In return, IDEAYA will receive a 50% US profit share and ex-US royalties for the MAT2A and Werner Helicase programmes and is responsible for 20% of global development costs for licensed products being developed with GSK.
The group also stands to bank global royalties for the Pol Theta programme, and GSK will cover all research, development, and commercialisation costs.
GSK is responsible for all commercialisation activities and costs globally for licensed products.