Get ready for the Roche (Remix), ft. a $30M small molecule deal

Roche is ready for the Remix—Therapeutics that is. The Swiss pharma has signed a $30 million upfront deal with the biotech that could rise to $1 billion down the line to develop new small molecules.

The announcement was short on details but big on dollar signs. Roche will pay out the $30 million upfront to Remix, plus $12 million in near-term milestones. The deal also includes preclinical, clinical, commercial and sales milestones of up to $1 billion, plus royalties on sales. The companies did not say how many targets will be subject to the deal, but it grants Roche exclusive rights.

Remix’s REMaster drug discovery platform develops small molecules that reprogram RNA processing to treat disease. The biotech will conduct discovery and preclinical work through the collaboration, and then hand off to Roche for clinical development and commercialization of any resulting targets.

Roche’s James Sabry, global head of pharma partnering, said the company was impressed by Remix’s platform.

Remix also had some good news to share about its in-house pipeline Wednesday. The biotech has secured $60 million in financing for lead asset REM-422 and its other meds. CEO Peter Smith, Ph.D., said the funds will help advance REM-422 into the clinic for adenoid cystic carcinoma and acute myeloid leukemia/myelodysplastic syndromes this year.

The financing was led by The Column Group with existing investors Atlas Venture, Foresite Capital, Alexandria Venture Investments, Arch Venture Partners, Casdin Capital and Surveyor, plus new investors WTT Investment, Willett Advisors and more.

Remix emerged in December 2020 and has remained fairly tight-lipped about its pipeline. The company closed a series B of $70 million in May 2022, with Smith telling Fierce Biotech at the time that the pipeline was “really humming.”

Johnson & Johnson apparently liked the sound of the biotech’s tune enough to sign a licensing deal worth $45 million upfront and a potential $1 billion total in February 2022. The $950 million would be contingent on Remix’s therapies reaching a variety of clinical and commercial milestones.

In December 2023, Remix announced preclinical data for REM-422 showing that the oral small molecule messenger RNA (mRNA) degrader had activity in AML mouse models.