Roche further taps drug discovery spinout's Nimble tech in $1.1B biobucks deal

Roche is making sure its peptide discovery spinout Nimble Therapeutics stays close with a revision of the companies’ development partnership valued at up to $1.1 billion.

The pharma's Genentech unit will pay out $20 million to Nimble upfront in the revamped collaboration, with up to $1.1 billion possible in near-term, preclinical, clinical, and commercial milestone payments, plus royalties.

Nimble and Genentech are working together to discover peptide therapies across multiple therapeutic areas. The expanded deal includes multiple targets, but little was shared about the diseases they are pursuing.

The biotech spinout will use its drug discovery tech to find new therapies for multiple targets, while Genentech and Roche will conduct preclinical and clinical development, plus commercialization of any products that result from the partnership.

The revision comes a few weeks after Nimble announced two lead compounds had been delivered in an unnamed large pharma partnership. The programs will now be advanced to preclinical studies and later, tests to secure human testing privileges with the FDA. The biotech delivered an additional four compounds through 2022, while working on developing its own pipeline.

In addition to the connection with Roche, Nimble also has drug development partnerships with RayzeBio and Incyte. The biotech also worked with Roche early in the pandemic to develop molecules for coronavirus tests.

Nimble continues to keep an eye out for new partners, too, CEO Jigar Patel said in December 2022. The biotech spun out of Roche in 2019, signing a deal with Genentech in early 2020. Financial details were not disclosed at the time.