$1.16 billion! Novartis wins AR PROTAC


On April 11, Novartis announced the establishment of an exclusive strategic partnership with Arvinas to jointly promote the research and development of an oral protein degrader for the treatment of prostate cancer. The total transaction value of this cooperation is up to US$1.16 billion.

Fancy the “Best-in-Class” potential

Under the terms of the agreement, Novartis will pay Arvinas an upfront payment totaling $150 million and commit to provide up to $1.01 billion in development, regulatory and commercial milestones and tiered royalties.

Novartis will be responsible for global clinical development and commercialization of ARV-766. This project is a new generation of protein degraders targeting full-length AR and its splice variant AR-V7. Novartis will own all research, development, production and commercialization rights for the AR-V7 project.

According to public information, the ARV-766 obtained by Novartis is a second-generation PROTAC (protein degradation targeting chimera), which is an androgen receptor (AR) degrader. The drug is currently being evaluated in Phase I/II studies in patients with metastatic resistant prostate cancer (mCRPC), and is a drug in Arvinas’s pipeline that is progressing rapidly in clinical research. The drug candidate has “Best-in-Class” potential in this indication, is designed for oral bioavailability, and has demonstrated activity against both wild-type and mutant AR tumors in preclinical studies.

Figure: Arvinas R&D pipeline

Image source: Arvinas official website

ARV-766 has a broader efficacy profile and better tolerability than first-generation Bavdegalutamide.

John Houston, CEO of Arvinas, said in a statement that Novartis, with its expertise and scale, will expand the development of ARV-766 and potentially make it the first and best treatment for prostate cancer patients.

In October 2023, Arvinas released interim data from a mid-stage dose escalation study of ARV-766, showing that it could reduce prostate-specific antigen (PSA) levels by at least 50% in 41% of patients with mutations in the AR ligand-binding domain. The drug candidate also reduced PSA concentrations by at least half in 50% of patients with a specific L702HAR mutation.

At the time, Arvinas said these efficacy signals were sufficient to support late-stage studies of ARV-766 and expected to have progression-free survival data on the AR degrader by mid-2024, and would discuss conducting Phase III with regulators in the second quarter of 2024. research plan.

In addition, on the day the deal with Arvinas was reached, Novartis also announced the launch of a tender offer for MorphoSys.

Acquisition started

In fact, as early as February 5, 2024, Novartis announced its plan to acquire MorphoSys AG for 68 euros per share or a total of 2.7 billion euros in cash (approximately US$2.9 billion). Yesterday (April 11), Novartis officially announced the launch of Tender offer for MorphoSys. The acquisition is subject to customary closing conditions, including a minimum acceptance threshold of 65% of the outstanding shares in the tender offer and regulatory approval.

In March 2023, MorphoSys faced difficulties and terminated all preclinical pipeline development. There are only three projects left in the pipeline, namely the CD19 monoclonal antibody that has been launched, and the remaining two drugs under development: BET inhibitor pelabresib (clinical phase III) and EZH1/2 protein dual inhibitor tulmimetostat (clinical phase I/II). ).

Novartis has obtained all mandatory antitrust clearances, according to a press release issued by Novartis. MorphoSys may accept the tender offer until May 13, 2024, subject to acceptance of certain conditions including a minimum acceptance threshold of 65% of outstanding shares.

The board of directors of MorphoSys has unanimously approved the acquisition and recommended that shareholders support the acquisition.

This acquisition will further expand and supplement Novartis’ product line in oncology, a priority treatment area, and will also strengthen Novartis’ global presence in the field of hematology.


Novartis has recently made frequent moves in both internal management and external BD. The large-scale layoffs in the past few days have triggered heated discussions in the industry. The huge investment in the introduction of ARPROTAC and the launch of the tender offer for MorphoSys are the specific implementation of the strategy of reducing staff, reducing costs and increasing efficiency, thereby further strengthening its layout in segmented fields.



2.Arvinas company official website

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