August 11, 2021 – Bayer recently entered into a pharma acquisition deal with Vividion Therapeutics to unlock high-value, traditionally undruggable targets with precision therapeutics.
Vividion will leverage its drug discovery platform to produce various small molecule therapies across indications. Initially, the companies will focus on targets related to oncology and immunology.
The company’s current programs include multiple-precision oncology targets and precision immunology targets, focusing on transcription factor NRF2 antagonists to treat NRF2 mutant cancers and inflammatory diseases.
Under the acquisition, Bayer will strengthen its small molecule capabilities, expand its reach into new modalities, and provide therapies for patients who have unmet medical needs.
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“This acquisition is a cornerstone of our strategy to fuel our pipeline with breakthrough innovation,” Stefan Oelrich, member of the board of management and president of Bayer’s Pharmaceuticals Division, said in the announcement.
“Vividion’s technology has demonstrated its ability to identify drug candidates that can target challenging proteins. Together, we will be able to develop first-in-class drug candidates, increasing the value of our pipeline,” Oelrich continued.
Bayer will own full rights to Vividion’s proprietary discovery program, which includes three synergistic components, a chemoproteomic screening technology, an integrated data portal, and a chemistry library.
Identification of drug candidates for undruggable proteins is a challenge in drug discovery.
But Vividion’s chemoproteomic screening platform can identify previously unknown binding pockets on protein targets.
Specifically, the platform will create selective compounds that provide a wide therapeutic window for various areas of high-unmet medical need, a Bayer spokesperson explained.
Nearly 90 percent of disease-causing proteins cannot be targeted by current therapies due to an unknown addressable binding site, according to Jeff Hatfield, chief executive officer of Vividion.
“Our proprietary chemoproteomic platform technology addresses the key limitations of conventional screening techniques and allows us to discover previously unknown, or cryptic, functional pockets on the surface of proteins and identify small molecules that selectively bind to those targets,” Hatfield stated.
“When combined with Bayer’s expertise in the development of small molecules to market and patient, an unparalleled position comes into existence to unlock undruggable targets,” he continued.
Under the terms of the agreement, Bayer will pay upfront consideration of $1.5 billion and potential success-based milestone payments of up to $500 million.
Transaction closing is contingent on customary closing conditions and is likely to take place in Q3 2021.