Cancer Research Technology and SV Life Sciences Launch Company

September 21, 2016

CRT and SV Life Sciences launched Artios Pharma, a new company formed to develop drugs targeting the DNA damage response to cancer.

On Sept. 21, 2016 Cancer Research Technology (CRT), the development and commercialization arm of Cancer Research UK, and SV Life Sciences announced the launch of Artios Pharma, a new company formed to develop drugs targeting the DNA damage response in cancer. Artios has licensed two lead DNA damage response programs from CRT and has signed a research collaboration agreement with CRT Discovery Laboratories. Artios will work with CRT Discovery Laboratories to progress these programs and discover and develop drug targets from Cancer Research UK’s portfolio of DNA damage repair research.

“Targeting the DNA damage response is an exciting and promising field of biology with growing interest following the recent success of PARP inhibitors. DNA damage response drug products have the potential to become established as first-line treatments, either as single agents or for use in combination with many approved therapies,” Niall Martin, CEO of Artios Pharma, said in a statement. “It is an ideal time for Artios to be entering the field as a DNA damage response-focused, independent biotech company. We’re delighted to welcome our world-class investors to the company and to announce our first partnership with Cancer Research Technology.”

Under the terms of the agreements, CRT will receive research funding into its Discovery Laboratories, equity in the company, and be eligible to receive milestone payments and royalties on projects advancing through Artios’ drug pipeline. The company’s lead program targets the pol-theta molecule and builds on cell biology research from Professor Gillies McKenna’s and Dr. Geoff Higgins’ laboratories at the Cancer Research UK/MRC Oxford Institute for Radiation Biology. The pol-theta molecule is thought to control DNA repair processes in certain tumors. Knocking out the target could remove a vital path relied on by the cancer cell, causing it to die. A second program against an undisclosed target has also been licensed to Artios.

Source: CRT