Roche ditches EGFR drug pact with C4 Therapeutics

Roche ditches EGFR drug pact with C4 Therapeutics

Roche has handed back the rights to one of its C4 Therapeutics targets as it tweaks a four-year research pact.

In a short update from C4’s financials, the Watertown, Massachusetts-based preclinical biotech said: “Roche mutually agreed to terminate the Amended and Restated Agreement with respect to the target epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR). With this termination, C4T regains the right to pursue the target EGFR in products that use degradation as their mode of action.”

This was one of a handful of drug targets Roche has signed up to. The Swiss major told the company about it in the summer, but it’s only becoming public now.

The pair have been partners since the early days of C4, penning an R&D collab back in 2016 and updated this back in 2019 for its degrader tech, which could total $900 million in royalties and biobucks.

The biotech is working on a series of cancer drug candidates using a protein degrader tech, plotting its first clinical test in the coming months. C4’s so-called TORPEDO (Target ORiented ProtEin Degrader Optimizer) platform aims to develop small-molecule treatments that harness the body’s naturally occurring pathways for dismantling and eliminating proteins within the cell.

By tagging disease-causing proteins for demolition by the cell’s own proteasomes, the company aims to reach classes of targets that have been difficult to reach with traditional means.

As well as Roche, the biotech also has pacts with Calico and most recently Biogen—with a deal inked last January totaling up to $415 million for research into neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.

Last year, it hired Adam Crystal, M.D., Ph.D., a senior director at the Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research, to be its new chief medical officer and help carry its targeted protein degraders closer to the clinic.

Earlier this year, it also nabbed $150 million in a series B equity round co-led by existing investor Cobro Ventures and new investor Perceptive Advisors, while also getting $20 million in venture debt from Perceptive Advisors.

And back in September, it hired former Bind Therapeutics CEO Hirsch as its new chief, and then went on to go public.

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