Surrozen Announces Strategic Partnership with Boehringer Ingelheim to Develop Wnt Agonist SZN-413 for People with Retinal Diseases

  • The collaboration and licensing agreement is Surrozen’s first strategic partnership for one of its compounds in development
  • Surrozen's novel antibody-based approach targets Fzd4 biology, which has been shown to play a fundamental role in retinal vascular integrity and function
  • The new partnership combines Surrozen’s proprietary SWAP™ technology for modulating Wnt signaling with Boehringer Ingelheim’s research and development expertise to develop a first-in-class treatment for patients with eye diseases

SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, CA, USA I October 06, 2022 I Surrozen, Inc. (Nasdaq: SRZN) announced today that it has entered into a collaboration and license agreement with Boehringer Ingelheim to research and develop SZN-413 for the treatment of retinal diseases.

SZN-413 is a bi-specific antibody targeting Fzd4-mediated Wnt signaling designed using Surrozen’s SWAP™ technology. It is currently being developed for the treatment of retinal vascular-associated diseases. Data generated by Surrozen with SZN-413 in preclinical models of retinopathy demonstrated that SZN-413 could potently stimulate Wnt signaling in the eye, induce normal retinal vessel regrowth, suppress pathological vessel growth and reduce vascular leakage (doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/tvst.11.9.19). This novel approach could thus potentially allow for regeneration of healthy eye tissue, not only halting retinopathy, but possibly allowing for a full reversal of the patient’s disease.

Under the terms of the agreement, Boehringer Ingelheim will receive an exclusive, worldwide license to develop SZN-413 and other Fzd4-specific Wnt-modulating molecules for all purposes, including as a treatment for retinal diseases, in exchange for an upfront payment to Surrozen of $12.5 million. Surrozen will also be eligible to receive up to $586.5 million in success-based development, regulatory, and commercial milestone payments, in addition to mid-single digit to low-double digit royalties on sales. After an initial period of joint research, Boehringer Ingelheim will assume all development and commercial responsibilities.

“Surrozen looks forward to the new partnership with Boehringer Ingelheim and to having our teams and scientists work to advance the potential opportunities for our Fzd4-targeted Wnt agonist program. We believe that compelling genetic and experimental evidence of the role for Fzd4-specific Wnt signaling in retinal vascular function points to the potential clinical impact of our approach. Boehringer Ingelheim is the optimal partner to translate that evidence into potential breakthrough therapies to transform the lives of people with retinal diseases,” said Craig Parker, Chief Executive Office at Surrozen.

About Surrozen 
Surrozen is a clinical-stage biotechnology company discovering and developing drug candidates to selectively modulate the Wnt pathway. Surrozen is developing tissue-specific antibodies designed to engage the body’s existing biological repair mechanisms with potential application across multiple diseases such as inflammatory bowel disease, hepatitis, eye diseases, diseases of the lacrimal gland, lung and airway, pancreas, skin and many others. For more information, please visit surrozen.com.

SOURCE: Surrozen

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