Originally posted on Bayer.com
Bayer contributes up to USD 100 million / Dewpoint’s drug platform targets biomolecular condensates, dynamic cellular structures newly understood to be central to many disease mechanisms / Biomolecular condensates expand traditional drug target space for small molecules
Bayer and Dewpoint Therapeutics, a biotechnology company with sites in Boston and Dresden, Germany, today announced an option, research and license agreement worth up to USD 100 million. The partnership will leverage Dewpoint’s proprietary platform for biomolecular condensates and Bayer’s small molecule compound library to develop new treatments for cardiovascular and gynecological diseases.
Today, around 80 percent of the human proteome is still considered to be beyond the reach of small molecules, which make up more than 80 percent of all marketed therapeutic drugs. The emerging paradigm of biomolecular condensates is expanding the traditional drug target space for small molecules by unveiling new targets and new approaches to previously intractable targets.
“As we continue to broaden our capabilities in Research & Development, the collaboration with Dewpoint gives us access to breakthrough innovation potential,” said Dr. Joerg Moeller, Member of the Executive Committee of Bayer AG’s Pharmaceuticals Division and Head of Research and Development. “New analytic tools and a growing understanding of biomolecular condensates could provide new insights into cellular functions that previously have not been considered by scientists in drug development, enabling us to identify novel pharmacological targets for future therapies.”
Many proteins act as part of complexes in biomolecular condensates, droplet-like membraneless organelles that form dynamically to carry out a wide variety of functions in cells. Though condensates were first observed more than 100 years ago, they have historically been understudied because they are difficult to analyze with traditional drug discovery methods such as protein crystallography and biochemical activity assays. Now, a new wave of research into condensates could provide new insights into cellular function and disease.
“This partnership is an exciting opportunity to advance treatments for diseases that have long evaded the industry. We look forward to combining Bayer’s expertise in chemistry and drug development and Dewpoint’s novel platform and insights into the role of biomolecular condensates in disease,” said Dewpoint CEO Amir Nashat. “We also look forward to working closely with Bayer to expand our capabilities in Germany and put the local biotech ecosystem at the forefront of this important and emerging area.”
Under the terms of the agreement, Bayer will gain the option to exclusively license a specified number of novel therapeutics derived from the research activities. Bayer will contribute with its small molecule compound library and R&D capabilities including high throughput screening and medicinal chemistry. As part of this partnership, Bayer and Dewpoint will broaden Dewpoint’s presence in Germany, and foster local capabilities to translate the emerging science into new medicines.
The collaboration follows Bayer’s participation in Dewpoint’s January 2019 Series A financing round through the Leaps by Bayer unit. The Pharmaceuticals Business Development & Licensing team of Bayer facilitated this collaboration.