Novartis has signed an exclusive strategic licence agreement for Arvinas’ ARV-766, a new treatment for prostate cancer.

ARV-766 is an investigational, orally bioavailable second-generation PROTAC androgen receptor (AR) degrader.

In preclinical studies, it has shown potential against wild-type androgen receptor tumours, as well as those with AR mutations or amplification, which can lead to resistance to current AR-targeted therapies.

The transaction also encompasses an asset purchase agreement for Novartis to acquire Arvinas’ preclinical AR-V7 programme.

Novartis will assume full responsibility for the global clinical development and marketing of ARV-766.

Novartis will hold all rights for executing the research, development, manufacture and marketing of the AR-V7 programme.

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Arvinas is entitled to receive an upfront payment of $150m and $1.01bn in milestone payments on meeting development, regulatory and commercial goals, along with tiered royalties.

Goldman Sachs is the exclusive financial adviser to Arvinas.

Arvinas chairperson, president and CEO John Houston stated: “We are thrilled to partner with an organisation that shares our dedication to delivering transformative medicines to patients with significant unmet needs.

“We believe the expertise and scale of Novartis will broaden the development of ARV-766 and its potential to be a first and best-in-class treatment for patients with prostate cancer. This strategic transaction also further validates our innovative PROTAC protein degrader platform and its potential to deliver new treatments.”

The latest development comes after Novartis exercised an option for the acquisition of all outstanding capital stock of IFM Therapeutics subsidiary IFM Due for $835m.