MOMA Therapeutics and Roche have signed a strategic partnership and licencing agreement for discovering drug targets for cancer.

Under the alliance, Roche will obtain access to MOMA’s KnowledgeBase platform to identify and prosecute new drug targets that are involved in the growth and survival of cancer cells.

KnowledgeBase merges combined structure-function expertise, lead-finding technologies and lead augmentation using computation.

The platform is based on the principle that functionally related targets lacking sequence homology still possess three-dimensional structural motifs that can be used to produce highly impactful therapies. 

MOMA applied this platform to expedite the discovery of drugs in the ATPase target class.

As per the deal, the company is eligible to receive an upfront cash payment of $66m from Roche.

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By GlobalData

Roche will also make milestone payments on meeting discovery, development and commercialisation goals totalling more than $2bn, along with royalty payments.

MOMA will spearhead all the works for chosen targets up to the validation of development candidates.

Subsequently, Roche will take over the investigational new drug (IND) application-enabling works as well as the clinical development and marketing.

Furthermore, if various partnership assets reach pivotal studies, MOMA will receive a right to jointly fund the late-stage development of a product in exchange for higher royalty payments in the US.

MOMA Therapeutics CEO Asit Parikh said: “Given its deep expertise and global footprint in oncology, Roche represents an ideal collaborator with whom to further advance the application of MOMA’s platform in a way that impacts patients’ lives.

“The vision for this collaboration was crafted jointly with Roche to enable each party to bring its strengths in pursuit of this shared goal.

“It also contributes to the long-term sustainability of MOMA’s core focus as we advance our rich pipeline of precision oncology programmes to the clinic.” The latest development comes after Roche entered an agreement to acquire US-based company Carmot Therapeutics in a cash deal worth $2.7bn.