iTeos Therapeutics SA enters in a strategic collaboration with Pfizer Inc where iTeos will license to Pfizer rights to iTeos’ pre-clinical compounds targeting the enzymes expressed in many cancers. Pfizer will be responsible for the development and commercialization of IDO1 and TDO2 drug candidates. It completes a previous deal with Merck a few weeks ago.
Additionally, the parties will collaborate to discover and validate new targets that play key roles in the ability of tumors to evade immune responses. These new targets will be shared by iTeos and Pfizer for further independent or collaborative development.
iTeos will receive from Pfizer an up-front payment of € 24 million, plus an equity investment, licensing fees and collaborative funding. Further, iTeos will be eligible to earn potential milestone payments from Pfizer based on the achievement of specific development, regulatory and commercial milestones across the IDO1 and TDO2 programs, in addition to royalties on sales.
Indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase (IDO1) and Tryptophan 2,3-dioxygenase (TDO2) are enzymes that break down the amino acid tryptophan. Their elevated expression in tumors locally degrades tryptophan, blunting tumor surveillance by the immune system and as such preventing tumor rejection. Specific inhibitors for each enzyme might permit the treatment of a wider variety of tumors, which often express only one of the two enzymes. In tumors that express both enzymes, the combined use of IDO1 and TDO2 inhibitors could reveal complementary benefit for personalized cancer therapy.
The agreement could be interpreted as further evidence that Pfizer has evolved since its quest for AstraZeneca for €95B because of the oncology pipeline of the company. Last month, Pfizer has signed an agreement with Merck KGaA from €680 million and up to €1,6 billion against cancer, this signature is committed to catch up with the market leaders which includes Merck, Bristol-Myers Squibb and Roche. This is the article about the deal : https://www.labiotech.eu/merck-serono-pfizer-signed-big-deal-cancer-therapies/