Genentech has entered a strategic collaboration with Dutch genetic modifier specialist, Scenic Biotech, to discover, develop and commercialise novel therapeutics that target genetic modifiers.
Genetic modifiers are genes that counteract the effect of a disease-causing gene. They may explain why some people with genetic mutations linked to severe disease end up having only mild or no symptoms.
Also known as disease suppressors, genetic modifiers therefore positively influence the severity of disease and act as a ‘natural form of protection’. Their discovery is leading to a completely new class of drug targets.
Scenic will utilise its Cell-Seq platform and its data warehouse of genetic modifiers to identify drug targets in multiple therapeutic areas.
The collaboration enables Genentech to select multiple targets for further development with an option to extend the collaboration.
Scenic will receive an undisclosed upfront payment and is eligible to receive additional target selection fees for drug targets taken forward by Genentech.
In addition, Scenic is eligible for success-based payments for each target based on achievement of certain predetermined milestones, as well as royalties on sales of certain products resulting from the collaboration. The total deal value could exceed $375 million.