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Novartis licenses 2 drugs in exchange for equity

March 24, 2017

Boston, Massachusetts-based Puretech Health PLC licensed two of Novartis AG’ (NVS) promising Phase 2 drug candidates which prevent age-related deterioration in immune functioning.

Novartis Gets Equity Stake, Share in Future Sales

Puretech set up a new subsidiary called resTORbio, which will be tasked with developing the two drugs. Swiss pharmaceuticals giant Novartis has completed Phase 2a studies of the mTORC1 inhibitor-based drugs for treating elderly patients. The newly constituted resTORbio will build upon the Novartis’ findings on the two licensed drugs with Phase 2b studies scheduled to start later this year.

Parent company PureTech Health has allocated around $15 million for funding the drug development program, and the amount will be split and made available in several different tranches. Based on the allotted capital, PureTech is expected to own around 58% of resTORbio, and its ownership may go up to 67% over time if its decides to allocate another $10 million to the development program in future.

Under the deal, Novartis will receive an undisclosed equity stake in resTORbio, and will be eligible to receive future milestones payments and royalties based on the percentage of net drug sales.

The drugs are based on the mechanism of inhibiting TORC1 and TORC2 protein complexes. Research shows that TORC1 inhibition results in multiple beneficial effects on human aging process, while TORC2 inhibition is linked to adverse events including hyperglycemia (high blood sugar) and hypercholesterolemia (high blood cholesterol).

“We have a robust clinical development plan for the first indication and plan to explore the program across multiple aging-related diseases,” said Chen Schor, a PureTech senior executive who is heading the resTORbio program. The company also announced that it has plans to extend the program to other age-related disorders.


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