Bayer acquires Noria and PSMA Therapeutics to expand pipeline in prostate cancer

June 09, 2021
WHIPPANY, N.J.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Bayer today announced that it has entered into an agreement to acquire Noria Therapeutics Inc. (Noria) and PSMA Therapeutics Inc. Through this acquisition, Bayer will obtain exclusive rights to a differentiated alpha radionuclide investigational compound based on actinium-225 and a small molecule directed towards prostate-specific membrane antigen (PSMA). The acquisition broadens Bayer’s existing oncology portfolio of targeted alpha therapies (TATs), which currently includes Xofigo® (radium Ra 223 dichloride), which is approved for metastatic castration resistant prostate cancer (mCRPC) with symptomatic bone metastases and no known visceral metastases, and the proprietary platform of investigational TATs based on thorium-227.

The pre-IND program focuses on the treatment of prostate cancer, the second most commonly diagnosed cancer in men.

“Bayer is focused on addressing the various medical needs of cancer patients, providing treatments that have the potential to improve patient outcomes throughout the different stages of the disease,” said Robert LaCaze, Member of the Executive Committee of the Pharmaceuticals Division and Head of the Oncology Strategic Business Unit at Bayer. “This acquisition is another important milestone in enhancing Bayer’s oncology portfolio through both in-house expertise and strategic collaborations and agreements.”

The companies acquired by Bayer, Noria and PSMA Therapeutics, have exclusive world-wide rights to technology licensed from Weill Cornell Medicine (New York, NY, USA) and Johns Hopkins University (Baltimore, MD, USA). Noria was founded by Dr. John Babich, Chief, Radiopharmaceutical Sciences in Radiology at Weill Cornell Medicine.

“Weill Cornell Medicine is committed to bringing our faculty’s innovations to market so that patients can benefit from the latest therapeutics,” said Dr. Lisa Placanica, Senior Managing Director Center for Technology Licensing at Weill Cornell Medicine. “Bayer’s acquisition of Noria and PSMA Therapeutics which have nurtured Dr. Babich’s radiopharmaceutical and diagnostic technology, is an important milestone in drug development, and we look forward to the advances this collaboration can make to enhance prostate cancer therapies.”

With the first and only approved targeted alpha therapy Xofigo, Bayer has successfully established Xofigo as a TAT for men with mCRPC, symptomatic bone metastases and no known visceral metastases. Adding actinium-225-labeled small molecule to the company’s platform of investigational targeted thorium conjugates, supports our commitment to researching differentiated treatment options for cancer patients.

“Despite increased cancer survivorship overall, there continues to be a significant unmet need in oncology,” said Marianne De Backer, MBA, PhD, Member of the Executive Committee of the Pharmaceuticals Division and Head Strategy and Business Development & Licensing at Bayer. “We remain committed to exploring collaborations for innovative and pioneering scientific research for patients with unmet needs.”

Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

About Targeted Alpha Therapies (TAT) at Bayer
Targeted Alpha Therapies (TAT) are a class of radionuclide compounds being studied in various difficult to treat tumors. They deliver alpha radiation to tumors inside the body either via their bone-seeking property (radium-223) or by combining alpha radionuclides, such as, actinium-225 or thorium-227, with specific moieties.

Bayer’s Xofigo® (radium Ra 223 dichloride) is the first and only approved TAT. Xofigo is indicated for the treatment of patients with mCRPC, symptomatic bone metastases and no known visceral metastatic disease. More than 76,000 patients have been treated worldwide since launch. Xofigo is currently under further evaluation in a broad clinical development program.

With its proprietary platform of investigational targeted thorium conjugates (TTC), Bayer is advancing a series of drug candidates with potential across multiple cancers. PSMA-TTC, which is combining a prostate-specific membrane antigen (PSMA)-targeting antibody with thorium-227, is a leading TTC project at Bayer. It is currently in Phase I clinical evaluation in patients with metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer. PSMA is highly expressed on the surface of prostate cancer cells. With this acquisition, Bayer broadens its existing TAT development portfolio by adding an actinium-labeled PSMA-targeted alpha therapy. It is planned to be investigated as a treatment option across multiple stages of prostate cancer.

About Prostate Cancer at Bayer
Bayer is committed to delivering science for a better life by advancing a portfolio of innovative treatments. The company has the passion and determination to develop new medicines for people living with cancer. Prostate cancer is the second most commonly diagnosed cancer in men1 and a key area of focus for Bayer. The company’s franchise includes two products on the market (Nubeqa® and Xofigo®) and several compounds in development, including advancing targeted alpha therapies. Bayer is focused on addressing the medical needs of prostate cancer patients.

About Xofigo® (radium Ra 223 dichloride) Injection2
Xofigo is indicated for the treatment of patients with castration-resistant prostate cancer, symptomatic bone metastases and no known visceral metastatic disease.

About NUBEQA (darolutamide)3
NUBEQA is an androgen receptor inhibitor (ARi) with a distinct chemical structure that competitively inhibits androgen binding, AR nuclear translocation, and AR-mediated transcription.3 A Phase III study in metastatic hormone-sensitive prostate cancer (ARASENS) is ongoing.

About Bayer
Bayer is a global enterprise with core competencies in the life science fields of health care and nutrition. Its products and services are designed to help people and planet thrive by supporting efforts to master the major challenges presented by a growing and aging global population. Bayer is committed to drive sustainable development and generate a positive impact with its businesses. At the same time, the Group aims to increase its earning power and create value through innovation and growth. The Bayer brand stands for trust, reliability, and quality throughout the world. In fiscal 2020, the Group employed around 100,000 people and had sales of 41.4 billion euros. R&D expenses before special items amounted to 4.9 billion euros.

About Noria Therapeutics (Noria) / PSMA Therapeutics Inc.
Noria is a research and development company managed by experienced radiopharmaceutical development leaders and focused on the development of novel targeted alpha therapeutics and theranostic agents. PSMA Therapeutics Inc. is a subsidiary of Noria to advance the platform of prostate-specific membrane antigen (PSMA) targeting radiotherapeutics. These companies have exclusive world-wide rights to technology licensed from Weill Cornell Medical College and Johns Hopkins University. It is headquartered in New York City.