Roche Group’s member Genentech has agreed to acquire US-based biotechnology firm, Jecure Therapeutics, for an undisclosed sum.
Based in San Diego of California, Jecure Therapeutics is engaged in the discovery of therapeutics to treat non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) and liver fibrosis.
Jecure Therapeutics president and CEO Dr Jeffrey Stafford said: “Genentech has an extensive history of translating pioneering science into transformative medicines.
“The acquisition of Jecure provides a unique opportunity to bring novel NLRP3 inhibitors to patients.”
In 2015, Jecure started operations through securing seed financing from founding investor Versant Ventures. In 2017, the company gathered $20m series A financing from 2017 to continue to develop and expand its portfolio of NLRP3 inhibitors.
Nucleotide-binding oligomerization (NOD)-like receptor family pyrin domain containing protein 3 (NLRP3) is an immunomodulatory protein, which will help activate certain inflammasomes, protein complexes responsible for the stimulation of cellular inflammatory responses.
The deal will allow Genentech to acquire Jecure’s complete preclinical portfolio of NLRP3 inhibitors.
Studies have related cellular stress signals to the activation of NLRP3 inflammasomes in various inflammatory and autoimmune disorders such as non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), liver fibrosis, gout, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and cardiovascular diseases.
Roche pharma partnering global head Dr James Sabry said: “We’ve had a long-standing interest in targeting inflammatory pathways that may play a role in a number of serious diseases.
“We’re excited to combine Jecure’s portfolio with our discovery and development capabilities, as well as our expertise in NLRP3 biology, to potentially help people with inflammatory diseases.”
In May this year, Genentech entered into a strategic drug discovery collaboration with Lodo Therapeutics, which is focused on the creation of therapeutics derived from nature.
As per terms of the deal, Genentech will use Lodo Therapeutics’ genome mining and biosynthetic cluster assembly platform to discover novel molecules with therapeutic potential against multiple disease-related targets.
Lodo will secure an undisclosed upfront payment from Genentech, as well as research, development and commercialization milestone payments up to $969m based on achievement of certain predetermined milestones.