Parvus Therapeutics said today that it signed an exclusive worldwide license and collaboration deal with Novartis (NYSE:NVS) for its type 1 diabetes nanodrug, Navacim. The therapeutic candidate is made up of iron oxide nanoparticles coated with a peptide derived from a pancreatic autoantigen, according to Parvus.
Navacims are the 1st biopharmaceuticals to restore immune tolerance through the formation of regulatory T-cells in prelinical models without suppressing the immune system, the company reported.
According to the deal, Novartis has exclusive, global development and commercialization rights to Parvus’ Navacim technology for the treatment of type 1 diabetes and is responsible for clinical-stage development. Parvus will continue its ongoing preclinical work and file the IND in collaboration with Novartis, the companies said.
Novartis paid Parvus an undisclosed amount upfront and the Calgary-based company is eligible to receive development, regulatory and sales milestone payments. Novartis has also made an equity investment in Parvus, according to the company.
Preclinical work has shown that Navacims work by reprogramming pathogenic T-cells into beneficial regulatory T-cells. The regulatory T-cells target and suppress the immune cells causing the autoimmune disease, which spares other immune cells and restores the system to a normal state.
The company said that Navacims could potentially treat autoimmune diseases without suppressing the total immune system and increasing the risk of infection.
“This is a transformative collaboration for Parvus. We are excited by this strong endorsement of the science behind our Navacim platform, as well as the opportunity to collaborate closely with a globally recognized leader in the field of immunology and autoimmune disease,” CEO Janice LeCocq said in prepared remarks. “This will augment our resources across the Navacim platform and accelerate the development of our T1D program. We are also pursuing the development of multiple Navacims that target autoimmune diseases where there is high unmet need for disease-modifying drugs without causing systemic immunosuppression.”