- The potentially first-in-class inhibitor designed to target glutathione peroxidase 4 (GPX4)
has the potential to impact approximately 500,000 cancer patients with unmet therapeutic
- BridgeBio and Helsinn have also established a non-exclusive framework agreement to
identify and potentially co-develop and co-commercialize additional small molecule
targeted oncology therapies
- This framework agreement leverages BridgeBio’s drug discovery expertise and Helsinn’s
clinical development and commercial capabilities
- The BridgeBio and Helsinn collaboration builds on the $2.45 billion USD global license
and collaboration agreement signed in March 2021 for development of BridgeBio’s FGFR
inhibitor infigratinib in oncology indications
Palo Alto, CA, and Lugano, Switzerland, 19 November 2021 – BridgeBio Pharma, Inc.
(Nasdaq: BBIO), a commercial-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on genetic diseases
and cancers, and Helsinn Group, a fully integrated, global biopharma company with a diversified
pipeline of innovative oncology assets and strong track-record of commercial execution,
announced they have entered into a strategic collaboration to co-develop and co-commercialize
a potentially first-in-class inhibitor designed to target glutathione peroxidase 4 (GPX4) with the
hope of providing an effective new therapy for patients with difficult-to-treat tumors.
The joint collaboration for BridgeBio’s GPX4 inhibitor was established as part of a new nonexclusive collaboration framework between BridgeBio and Helsinn that allows the companies to
propose co-development and co-commercialization opportunities for preclinical precision
Under the terms of the non-exclusive agreement, BridgeBio and Helsinn will have the option to
collaborate on preclinical oncology programs that are identified from time to time by either party.
The agreement is designed to magnify the ability of both companies to identify small oncology
interventions that may have greater potential to help patients in combination with larger
investigational therapies. For each program that the parties agree to pursue, they will share
global development responsibilities under an agreed cost split. Helsinn will have exclusive
manufacturing and commercial rights to the programs under the agreement, with BridgeBio
receiving a profit share on U.S. sales and tiered royalties on ex-U.S. sales.
The first program under the framework collaboration agreement that the parties will pursue is
GPX4, a potentially first-in-class inhibitor that may be an effective new therapy for certain cancer
patients. GPX4 is an enzyme that is often elevated in cancer tissue and associated with a worse
prognosis for patients. GPX4 neutralizes toxic free radicals at the lipid membrane, protecting
cells from death by ferroptosis. The GPX4 inhibitor is being developed to induce ferroptosis in
cancer cells with the potential to impact approximately 500,000 patients in need of a therapeutic
option. The safety and efficacy of GPX4 has not yet been established by any health authority
“We are excited to expand our collaboration with Helsinn to develop and potentially
commercialize our GPX4 program. Our hope is that together we can move even more swiftly to
advance this potential precision oncology therapy for cancer patients living with severe unmet
medical needs,” said BridgeBio’s chairman of oncology, Frank McCormick, Ph.D., F.R.S., D.Sc.
Riccardo Braglia, vice chairman and CEO at Helsinn Group, commented: “This non-exclusive
pipeline agreement with BridgeBio has the potential to be transformational for Helsinn because
BridgeBio’s world class drug discovery platform can augment our innovative oncology pipeline. It
also affords Helsinn the opportunity to identify and offer potential programs on which the parties
could collaborate. BridgeBio’s deep expertise in drug hunting and early preclinical development
combined with Helsinn’s drug development and global commercial platform can facilitate an
ongoing cadence of moving novel therapies into clinical development with the potential to
meaningfully improve the lives of patients with cancer. We’re delighted to get started with our first
program, GPX4, and look forward to updating the market on this and additional programs in due
The non-exclusive framework agreement builds on an earlier global collaboration and licensing
agreement that BridgeBio and Helsinn Group’s affiliates, Helsinn Healthcare S.A. and Helsinn
Therapeutics (U.S.), Inc., entered into in March 2021. Under that agreement, Helsinn
Therapeutics is jointly responsible for further development and commercialization activities for
infigratinib, a small molecule kinase inhibitor of FGFR, in oncology and all other indications
except for skeletal dysplasias (including achondroplasia) in the United States and other regions
(excluding China, Hong Kong, and Macau), sharing profits and losses on an equal basis. This
includes exclusive commercialization rights for infigratinib in Canada, where Health Canada
recently approved TRUSELTIQ™ (infigratinib) under the Notice of Compliance with Conditions
(NOC/c) policy, for the treatment of adults with previously treated, unresectable locally advanced
or metastatic cholangiocarcinoma (CCA) with a FGFR2 fusion or other rearrangement. Helsinn
will fund the majority of ongoing and future research and development related to infigratinib in
oncology in the foregoing territory. BridgeBio will be eligible for tiered royalties as a percentage of
adjusted net sales, and potential payments totaling up to $2.45 billion USD in the aggregate.
BridgeBio previously entered a strategic collaboration with LianBio for development and
commercialization of infigratinib in oncology indications in China, Hong Kong and Macau.
BridgeBio Pharma, Inc. (BridgeBio) is a biopharmaceutical company founded to discover, create, test and deliver transformative medicines to treat patients who suffer from genetic diseases and cancers with clear genetic drivers. BridgeBio’s pipeline of over 30 development programs ranges from early science to advanced clinical trials and its commercial organization is focused on delivering the company’s first two approved therapies. BridgeBio was founded in 2015 and its team of experienced drug discoverers, developers and innovators are committed to applying advances in genetic medicine to help patients as quickly as possible. For more information visit bridgebio.com and follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter.
Helsinn is a fully integrated, global biopharma company headquartered in Lugano, Switzerland.
It is focused on improving the lives of cancer patients all over the world with a leading position in cancer supportive care and innovative pipeline of cancer therapeutics.
Helsinn is third-generation family-owned company, that since 1976 has been focused on improving the lives of patients, guided by core values of respect, integrity and quality. It operates a unique licensing business model with integrated drug development and manufacturing capabilities. Helsinn has a commercial presence in 190 countries either directly, with operating subsidiaries in the U.S. and China, or via its network of long-standing trusted partners.
Helsinn Group plays an active and central role in promoting social transformation in favor of people and the environment. Corporate social responsibility is at the heart of everything we do, which is reinforced in the company’s strategic plan by a commitment to sustainable growth.
To learn more about Helsinn Group please visit www.helsinn.com
Group Head of Communication
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