Novartis to ride with Bicycle in radiopharmaceuticals deal that could cruise to $1.7B

Novartis has hopped on Bicycle Therapeutics’ radio-conjugates ride with a $50 million upfront payment and a further $1.7 billion possible down the road.

The two companies will use Bicycle’s bicyclic peptide technology to develop Bicycle radio-conjugates, or BRCs, for several undisclosed oncology targets, according to a Tuesday morning press release. Once the BRCs are discovered, Novartis will be responsible for further development, manufacturing and commercialization, including preclinical and clinical expenses.

Novartis has positioned radiopharmaceuticals as a pillar of its oncology program. The Swiss pharma already has two marketed drugs, Lutathera and Pluvicto, for certain gastroenteropancreatic neuroendocrine tumors and prostate cancer, respectively.

Despite manufacturing troubles in 2022, Novartis reported sales of $179 million for Pluvicto and $128 million for Lutathera.

Lutathera is also being tested in glioblastoma, solid tumors and in the pediatric population. Pluvicto is in trials for additional prostate cancer indications. Behind those two, Novartis also has 177Lu-NeoB in early clinical development for solid tumors.

Bicycle also has a deal with Genentech, which involves multiple immuno-oncology targets.