Novartis Strikes Deal to Purchase Mariana Oncology, Bolstering Radioligand Therapy Portfolio

Novartis to Acquire Mariana Oncology, Enhancing Radioligand Therapy Portfolio

Novartis has announced its agreement to acquire Mariana Oncology, a biotechnology company headquartered in Watertown, Massachusetts, specializing in the development of innovative radioligand therapies (RLTs) for cancers with significant unmet medical needs.

This strategic move aims to fortify Novartis’ RLT pipeline, amplifying the company’s research capabilities and clinical supply infrastructure. By integrating Mariana Oncology’s expertise, Novartis seeks to advance its strategic objectives in oncology and foster innovation within the RLT platform.

The acquisition encompasses a diverse portfolio of RLT programs, ranging from lead optimization to early-stage development across various solid tumor indications such as breast, prostate, and lung cancer. Among these programs is MC-339, an actinium-based RLT currently under investigation for small cell lung cancer.

Fiona Marshall, President of Biomedical Research at Novartis, emphasized the company’s commitment to RLT as a key technology platform. Marshall expressed excitement about collaborating with the Mariana team to pioneer next-generation RLTs, envisioning a future where RLT stands as a cornerstone of cancer treatment.

RLTs, also known as radiopharmaceuticals, represent a form of precision medicine that combines a tumor-targeting molecule (ligand) with a therapeutic radioisotope. By binding to specific receptors on tumor cells, RLTs deliver radiation precisely to the cancer site, minimizing damage to surrounding tissues.

Shiva Malek, Global Head of Oncology for Biomedical Research at Novartis, highlighted the company’s dedication to expanding the reach of RLTs to diverse cancer types. Malek underscored the acquisition’s significance in augmenting Novartis’ RLT research capabilities and complementing ongoing efforts to explore novel isotopes, combinations, and disease areas.

Currently, Novartis boasts two approved RLTs for metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer and certain types of gastroenteropancreatic neuroendocrine tumors. The company’s pipeline includes several programs in clinical development, spanning studies and assets for prostate cancer and other indications, alongside preclinical and discovery initiatives to identify new RLT candidates.

Under the terms of the agreement, Novartis will make an upfront payment of USD 1 billion, with additional payments of USD 750 million contingent upon achieving predefined milestones. The completion of the transaction is subject to customary closing conditions.

Disclaimer: The media update contains forward-looking statements subject to inherent risks and uncertainties. Novartis cautions against placing undue reliance on these statements, emphasizing the unpredictable nature of future events. Novartis undertakes no obligation to update forward-looking statements in light of new information or future developments.

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