Blueprint marks protein degrader path in $632M biobucks pact with a Vant

Blueprint Medicines will dole out as much as $652 million to advance up to two protein degraders from Proteovant Therapeutics for oncology and hematology. And that dollar amount could double if the companies decide to add two more programs to their deal. 

The Cambridge, Massachusetts biopharma and Proteovant will jointly research targets using Blueprint's small molecule precision medicine and the nascent biotech's artificial intelligence platform.

Blueprint will pay $20 million upfront plus up to $105 million in preclinical, clinical and regulatory milestones. Approval and sales milestones could add as much as $527 million to the payout, the companies said Monday. 

With the deal, Blueprint nabs the exclusive option to develop and market products from the collaboration, which focuses on cancer and blood disorders. Proteovant can co-develop and co-commercialize the second of the two programs in the U.S.

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"Recent scientific advancements in the field of targeted protein degradation have revealed opportunities to expand our core kinase capabilities and explore new ways to treat difficult to drug and novel targets, as well as address on-target resistance mechanisms," Blueprint's R&D chief, Fouad Namouni, said in a statement. 

This marks yet another protein degradation deal for the biopharma industry. Amgen lined up $500 million in biobucks for two of Plexium's protein degraders last month. That followed Big Pharma deals from PfizerEli Lilly and Novartis in 2021.

In this popular field, companies are aiming to break down unwanted and unnecessary proteins in the body. Newer biotechs have also emerged to tackle the flipside, protein stabilization, which looks at ensuring the body has the right amount of specific proteins needed to fight certain diseases.

As for the little-known name in Monday's deal, Proteovant is, in fact, a Vant.

RELATED: Roivant decants another Vant armed with Eisai blood cancer drug and plans to start phase 1/2 soon

This marks the first time the biotech has emerged from the woodwork since its founder Roivant Sciences announced it had formed a protein degradation platform in December 2020. The infamous Vant spinner-offer formed the company with a $200 million investment from SK Holdings and a pipeline of preclinical degraders designed by computational drug discoverer VantAI. 

Roivant revealed another Vant earlier this month. Hemavant begins with a former Eisai drug, RVT-2001, a small-molecule modulator that will be studied in patients with myelodysplastic syndromes.