Volastra Therapeutics Announces Drug Discovery Collaboration with Bristol Myers Squibb
Bristol Myers Squibb to leverage Volastra’s proprietary CINtech platform to discover and develop oncology drug candidates.
Volastra to receive an upfront payment of $30 million, with the potential for an additional $1.1 billion in development, regulatory, and commercial milestone payments as well as royalties.
NEW YORK, MARCH 21, 2022 – Volastra Therapeutics, an oncology company focused on exploiting chromosomal instability (CIN) as a vulnerability for cancer cells, today announced a collaboration with Bristol Myers Squibb to discover, develop and commercialize new medicines.
The multi-year collaboration will leverage Volastra’s proprietary CINtech platform, to identify CIN-related, synthetic lethal targets as drug candidates. Synthetic lethality is a well-established genetic approach of target discovery that involves exploiting vulnerabilities in tumor cells to induce tumor cell death while sparing normal cells. In pre-clinical models, Volastra has demonstrated that synthetical lethal approaches can be particularly effective in tumors with high levels of CIN.
“The combination of Bristol Myers Squibb’s expertise in oncology and Volastra’s deep understanding of chromosomal instability as cancer’s Achilles heel makes for an ideal partnership to advance novel therapies for patients,” said Charles Hugh-Jones, M.D., FRCP, Chief Executive Officer at Volastra. “Through this collaboration, Volastra will apply our innovative platform towards the creation of effective CIN-targeted medicines. We look forward to working together with Bristol Myers Squibb to transform cancer treatment.”
“We look forward to collaborating with Volastra and utilizing their chromosomal instability targeting platform to identify important drug discovery insights,” said Rupert Vessey, M.A., B.M., B.Ch., FRCP, D.Phil., Executive Vice President, Research & Early Development, Bristol Myers Squibb. “New therapies targeting CIN have the potential to enhance treatment selectivity and improve patient outcomes.”
Under the terms of the agreement, Volastra will be responsible for conducting various activities for undisclosed targets. For select targets, Volastra will conduct all research activities through development candidate selection and Bristol Myers Squibb may take on the responsibilities for all subsequent development, regulatory, and commercialization activities of the development candidates under an exclusive worldwide license.
Volastra will receive $30 million in an upfront payment and will also be eligible to receive up to $1.1 billion in development, regulatory, and commercial milestone payments. Additionally, Volastra is entitled to receive royalties on net global sales of any product commercialized by Bristol Myers Squibb resulting from the collaboration.
About Volastra’s CINtech Platform
Volastra’s CINtech platform harnesses a deep biological understanding of chromosomal instability (CIN) as cancer’s most targetable vulnerability to develop promising therapies for patients. CINtech integrates proprietary imaging technologies, model cell line systems, and computational analytics to drive a broad and differentiated pipeline.
About Volastra Therapeutics, Inc.
Volastra Therapeutics is a New York-based drug discovery and therapeutics company pioneering novel
approaches to treating cancer by exploiting chromosomal instability (CIN), cancer’s most targetable
vulnerability. Founded by Lewis Cantley, Ph.D., Olivier Elemento, Ph.D., and Samuel Bakhoum, M.D.,
Ph.D., Volastra is rapidly developing and implementing new methods to exploit this vulnerability.
Leveraging its proprietary CINtech platform, the company is advancing a novel synthetic lethal and
immune-activating pipeline. Volastra’s lead program targets KIF18A, a mitotic kinesin, with first-in-human studies anticipated to start in early 2023.
For more information, please visit volastratx.com.