– First therapeutic candidate on track to enter clinical studies in 2021
– Computationally-designed degraders for six targets currently in preclinical development
– Acquisition of Oncopia Therapeutics and research collaboration with lab of Dr. Shaomeng Wang at the University of Michigan to add diverse pipeline of current and future compounds
– Clinical-stage degraders will provide foundation for multiple new Vants in distinct disease areas
– Platform supported by $200 million strategic investment from SK Holdings
Roivant Sciences today unveiled its targeted protein degradation platform which includes novel degraders for multiple diseases across oncology, immunology, and neurology. The first therapeutic candidate to emerge from this platform is on track to enter the clinic in 2021. Roivant expects to build multiple future Vants around new drug candidates from this platform over time.
Target selection and molecule design for Roivant’s protein degrader pipeline are currently powered by VantAI, a computational drug discovery platform with proprietary technologies to address the modality-specific challenges of designing and optimizing novel degrader candidates. VantAI began developing novel technologies for in silico drug design, target prediction, interactome mapping, and ADMET optimization in early 2019 and has designed degraders for six unique targets to date.
Roivant also recently completed the acquisition of Oncopia Therapeutics, a leading company focused on discovering and developing first-in-class and best-in-class targeted protein degraders. In addition, Roivant has expanded a research partnership with the University of Michigan to support research in the laboratory of Dr. Shaomeng Wang, Warner-Lambert/Parke-Davis Professor in Medicine and Professor of Internal Medicine, Pharmacology and Medicinal Chemistry. Dr. Wang is Director of the Michigan Center for Therapeutic Innovation, a co-founder of Oncopia Therapeutics, and a world-renowned scientist focused on the discovery of protein degraders.
Roivant’s protein degradation platform is supported by SK Holdings, a strategic investment arm of SK Group in Korea focused on long-term investments in growth areas including new biopharmaceutical modalities. As part of a strategic partnership, SK Holdings has agreed to make a $200 million equity investment in the platform. This investment is subject to customary closing conditions, including required governmental approvals. Clinical and non-clinical evaluation and strategy for the Roivant degrader portfolio will be overseen by Dr. Roger Sidhu, Chief Medical Officer and Head of R&D at Roivant.
“We see targeted protein degradation as one of the most promising areas for novel drug discovery and we intend to build a leadership position in this field,” said Vivek Ramaswamy, Founder and CEO of Roivant Sciences.
“SK Holdings and Roivant share many things in common, including our investment philosophy and our desire to improve upon the status quo by working together. We believe that AI-powered targeted protein degradation will not only improve inefficiencies in the pharmaceutical industry, but also generate significant social impact by tackling unmet medical needs,” said Dong Hyun Jang, CEO of SK Holdings. “In addition to this partnership, we look forward to working together to innovate on other aspects of AI-based Healthcare with a long-term vision.”
“Degraders provide a unique opportunity to unlock difficult drug targets and tackle serious diseases,” said Dr. Sidhu. “By combining our unique computational chemistry platform with validated degrader discovery approaches and by making additional investments in new capabilities, we plan to build an engine that will consistently deliver first-in-class and best-in-class degraders in multiple therapeutic areas.”