Lilly Gambles Big on Pain Target Novartis Couldn’t Crack: $630 Million

In a major breakthrough, Confo secured a whopping $40 million upfront in a groundbreaking deal with pharmaceutical giant Eli Lilly. This will enable Confo to proceed with Phase I testing of CTFX-1554, a novel asset targeting the angiotensin II type 2 receptor (AT2R). If successful, Confo could look forward to an additional $590 million payout from Lilly. This is a major milestone in the company’s history and a testament to its cutting-edge research and development.

Confo has just secured a whopping $40 million in a major agreement with Eli Lilly, allowing them to progress their Phase I testing of CTFX-1554, a revolutionary asset that targets the angiotensin II type 2 receptor (AT2R). If this asset is successful, Confo stands to gain an additional $590 million, marking a huge victory for the company.

Lilly is looking to expand their already lucrative involvement with Confo’s pipeline, with the potential to earn an additional $590M in milestones, royalties, and net sales. Through this venture, they have the opportunity to develop antibody-based therapies targeting the same receptor as their existing candidate, giving them the chance to further capitalize on their partnership with Confo.

Confo’s platform is revolutionizing drug development by unlocking the potential of G-protein coupled receptors (GPCRs) – the most diverse group of membrane receptors in the body. While an impressive 30% of drugs on the market target GPCRs, many of these targets have been notoriously difficult to drug. Confo’s platform is providing a solution to this issue by stabilizing functional conformations of GPCRs, and enabling the development of new and effective treatments.

Cedric Ververken, CEO of Confo, highlighted the complexity of GPCRs, noting that they are difficult to target due to their position in the lipid environment. This flexibility allows GPCRs to shift around, presenting a unique challenge for scientists looking to find effective treatments.

GPCR studies just got easier with Confo’s groundbreaking ConfoBodies technology! These single domain antibodies, derived from llamas, bind to the GPCR and stabilize it, allowing for more accurate and efficient research. Unlock the power of this revolutionary technique and take your studies to the next level!

Ververken’s innovative technique has the potential to revolutionize small molecule and antibody discovery. By using this “trick”, researchers can explore new possibilities and uncover novel substances that could be beneficial to humankind.

Spinifex Pharmaceuticals have already demonstrated the effectiveness of targeting AT2R for pain relief, and now CTFX-1554 is showing promise as a non-opioid treatment for peripheral pain. This new treatment option has the potential to revolutionize the way we manage chronic pain.

In 2015, Novartis acquired the Australian-based company Spinifex for a staggering $200 million upfront. Spinifex’s AT2R antagonist had demonstrated “consistent clinical improvement in pain intensity reduction” in two separate studies across two different pain populations, according to the NIH. Unfortunately, the program was put on hold midway through Phase II due to the liver toxicity observed in long-term dosing in primates.

Ververken expressed great optimism for Confo’s potential clinical efficacy, having seen the success of Novartis’ own learning journey.

Due to our pharmacology on the same target, we have been able to avoid the issue of liver toxicity that the precedent molecule had, which is why Lilly is so enthusiastic about our program.

An estimated 17% of the population experiences chronic neuropathic pain caused by nerve damage from conditions such as diabetes, shingles, and cancer. Current treatments are often ineffective and come with worrying side effects like sedation, or require the use of opioid painkillers, which can be highly addictive. Sufferers of this debilitating condition need better solutions than the ones currently available.

CTFX-1554 has a unique mode of action, targeting the area of pain in arms or legs while avoiding any potential side effects associated with targeting the brain. This allows for a safer and more effective treatment for those who are suffering from chronic pain.

Confo is investing its $40 million upfront payment into two of its pipeline programs, Rare Disease 1 and 2, in the hopes of nominating one for development by early 2024. This move is part of the company’s ongoing effort to bring cutting-edge treatments to those suffering from rare diseases. CEO Peter Ververken expressed his enthusiasm for the potential impact of this investment, stating, “We are confident that this strategic move will open new doors for our research and development, bringing much-needed innovative treatments to those in need.”

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