Brickell Biotech nabs autoimmune, inflammatory program from Voronoi for up to $320M in biobucks

Brickell Biotech nabs autoimmune, inflammatory program from Voronoi for up to $320M in biobucks

Brickell Biotech is picking up an inhibitor platform with multiple assets that aim to restore immune balance in an exclusive rights deal that could balloon over $300 million.

The Boulder, Colorado-based biotech is acquiring the worldwide rights to South Korean drug discovery company Voronoi’s DYRK1A inhibitor platform, which includes a phase 1-ready asset slated to enter the clinic next year. DYRK1A inhibitors attempt to return immune balance to patients whose immune systems have been dysregulated.

Brickell is paying Voronoi $2.5 million in cash and $2.5 million in stock upfront, with $211 million in biobucks for the first two assets and then up to $107.5 million more for a third potential asset. Brickell is now responsible for all development activities and expenses for the platform.

The first asset, BBI-02, demonstrated “compelling results” in preclinical models of atopic dermatitis, which makes skin red and itchy, and rheumatoid arthritis, an autoimmune and inflammatory disease that causes healthy cells to be mistakenly attacked. The oral treatment will enter the clinic next year after showing decreases in disease severity and reduction of pro-inflammatory cytokines compared to available treatments during preclinical testing.

The second part of the Voronoi deal is BBI-03, another DYRK1A inhibitor that is topically applied. The third asset will be another next-generation DYRK1A inhibitor for neuroinflammatory diseases, Brickell said.

Aside from autoimmune diseases and neuroinflammatory diseases, type 1 diabetes is another potential application for the DYRK1A inhibitors, the company said.

Dermatology and autoimmune-focused Brickell hired Monica Luchi, M.D., as chief medical officer to lead the development of the acquired platform, according to a Wednesday statement. Luchi was previously senior vice president of clinical research and development at Sorrento Therapeutics and Celularity and has done stints at Immune Pharmaceuticals, Mesoblast, Incyte and Novartis.

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