NERVIANO, Italy I June 5, 2023 I Nerviano Medical Sciences S.r.l. (NMS), a clinical-stage biotechnology company member of NMS Group S.p.A. (NMS group), the largest cancer research and development company in Italy, announced signing of a license agreement and right of option with Solve Therapeutics, Inc. (SolveTx) to develop and commercialize novel antibody-drug conjugates (ADCs) for up to four cancer targets selected by SolveTx.

NMS is focused on discovery and development of innovative therapies for the treatment of cancer based on proprietary kinase and ADC linker-payload platforms, with approved targeted drugs licensed to pharma companies and proprietary innovative small molecules undergoing clinical studies. The development program will leverage NMS’s proprietary innovative linker-payload platform technology and SolveTx’s antibody-based oncology therapeutics technology. NMS’s linker-payload platform is carefully designed to generate more stable, efficacious, and safer ADCs to treat heterogenous and chemotherapy-resistant solid tumors. The licensed linker-payload includes optimized features; it can be readily conjugated to targeting antibodies, is highly active in preclinical in vitro and in vivo studies, shows bystander activity in heterogeneous tumors, promotes immune system recognition of tumor cells to induce immunogenic cell death, and demonstrates activity in chemotherapy-resistant and poorly proliferating tumors while maintaining a wide therapeutic index.

“We are excited to partner with SolveTx to extend our pipeline beyond our world-famous kinase platform and clinical assets to create novel drugs designed to target tumors more precisely and deliver more potent anticancer agents with our next–generation linker-payload technology. The SolveTx team has a proven track record of developing transformative anticancer drug candidates and we are pleased that they have selected our linker-payload system for integration into their novel ADCs.” said Hugues Dolgos, PharmD, Chief Executive Officer of NMS and NMS Group. 

David Johnson, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of SolveTx, added “SolveTx is eager to explore use of NMS’s linker-payload as components of our ADCs. We feel that the NMS technology holds promise to overcome the limitations of current linker-payload systems and look forward to rapidly advancing our ADCs to benefit cancer patients in need.”

Under the terms of the agreement, SolveTx will use NMS’s proprietary linker-payload technology to develop novel ADC product candidates for up to four targets selected by SolveTx. SolveTx will be responsible for the generation of targeting antibodies and all nonclinical, clinical, and commercialization activities relating to any resulting product candidates.

About Solve Therapeutics, Inc.

Solve Therapeutics, Inc. (SolveTx) is an oncology-focused biopharmaceutical company dedicated to developing novel antibody-based therapies targeting tumor-specific antigens. The company’s formation has reunited members of the former VelosBio Inc. (VelosBio) team, a highly experienced group with a proven ability to rapidly advance innovative therapeutics that address unmet medical needs in the treatment of cancer. At VelosBio, they developed a first-in-class, anti-ROR1 antibody-drug conjugate (ADC), zilovertamab vedotin, leading to the company’s acquisition by Merck & Co. for $2.8B in 2020.

Since its founding in late 2021, SolveTx has been actively pursuing discovery and development efforts at its state-of-the-art laboratory facilities in San Diego, California and Durham, North Carolina. The company has licensed or generated targeting antibodies and nanobodies with ideal characteristics to serve as the backbones for antibody-based therapeutics and has rights to technology supporting development of diagnostic and therapeutic antibody-radionuclide conjugates (ARCs). SolveTx is supported by a syndicate of sophisticated healthcare investors, including AyurMaya Capital Management Fund (an affiliate of Matrix Capital Management), Decheng Capital, General Atlantic, and Surveyor Capital (a Citadel Company).

About Nerviano Medical Sciences

Nerviano Medical Sciences S.r.l. (NMS) is focused on discovery and clinical development of small molecule NCEs for oncology. We take innovative approaches on novel mechanisms of action and drug targets to bring first- and best-in-class personalized medicines to cancer patients. Our current pipeline consists of NCEs, which originate from our industrially renowned kinase inhibitor drug discovery platform which comprises an ever-evolving chemical collection with broad intellectual property coverage, discovery know-how and technologies. Our kinase platform has enabled us to out-license IP rights on approved innovative medicines such as encorafenib and entrectinib and currently includes preclinical to clinical stage products, which are being developed both in house and with partners, including four proprietary clinical assets in Phase I/II studies. Moreover, the development of our payload linker platform allows an extension of our pipeline with innovative payload linkers for next generation ADC production.

NMS combines the flexibility of a biotech with the quality of a big pharma. Here, an experienced management team leads a highly skilled staff of professionals with a global vision and a broad range of expertise in drug discovery and development. We collaborate with academia and clinical investigators as well as industrial partners worldwide to advance our programs from early discovery to clinical development of new drugs. The recently signed collaboration agreement with licensing option with Merck Healthcare KGaA for the next-generation highly selective and brain penetrant PARP1 inhibitor NMS-293.

We seek further strategic collaborations to develop and commercialize our products in different territories as well as in-licensing opportunities of promising pre-clinical assets.

About NMS Group

NMS Group S.p.A. (NMS Group) is the largest R&D company in Italy committed to the discovery and development of novel oncological therapies and through its three subsidiaries is the only institution able to manage the entire integrated R&D chain: from the first steps of the pre-clinical phase to the packaging of the finished product with more than 400 employees of whom more than half are highly educated individuals dedicated to innovative research, development and manufacturing.

NMS Group’s three subsidiaries are: NMS S.r.l., focused on discovery and clinical development of new drugs for oncology at Nerviano (Italy) and Boston (US) sites, Accelera S.r.l., one of the few Italian CROs capable of providing support through all phases of drug research and development, and NerPharMa S.r.l., a CDMO owing a wide and cutting edge organizational structure able to manage and handle highly active compounds, and to ensure the full development and production of active principles and finished products.

Media contact: Sidney Dung

SOURCE: Solve Therapeutics