Orionis Biosciences Debuts with Major Pharmaceutical Collaboration to Tackle Industry’s Most Challenging Protein Targets

March 5, 2020, Boston (MA, US), Ghent (Belgium) – Orionis Biosciences is today debuting with the announcement of a major drug discovery collaboration with Novartis. Orionis has developed innovative technologies in genome-scale drug discovery and tunable molecular design of novel therapeutic drug modalities to tackle the industry’s most intractable disease targets.

The goal of the four-year collaboration with Novartis is to discover and design novel small molecule therapeutics, such as protein degraders, across various therapeutic areas, by broadly leveraging Orionis’ Allo-Glue™ technology platform. The terms of the collaboration include research funding, a convertible note investment, royalties and potential clinical milestones.

“Our collaboration with Novartis provides tremendous validation of the work we have accomplished over the past several years to develop innovative tools to unlock challenging drug targets for new therapeutic modalities,” commented Niko Kley, CEO of Orionis. “There are many disease-related targets that have eluded scientists and drug discoverers for decades, with new ones being identified every day. Our proprietary genome-wide discovery and drug design technologies may enable identification and development of small molecules and biologics with high specificity and selectivity against targets at a scale, speed and efficiency that is unique in the industry.”

Orionis was originally founded by drug discovery and technology pioneers Niko Kley, PhD, CEO, Jan Tavernier, PhD, CTO and Professor at VIB-Ghent University (Belgium), and VIB. Riccardo Sabatini, PhD, CDS, joined the company as architect and leader of Orionis’ computational science platform.

Dr. Jay Bradner, MD, PhD, President of the Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research commented, “We are excited to be working with the Orionis team to combine our expertise in drug discovery and development with their innovative technologies for rapidly identifying and prioritizing new targets at a genome-wide scale. Our hope is that through this collaboration, we will be able to reach historically elusive targets as we strive to bring new therapies to patients more quickly.”

Riccardo Sabatini commented further, “It is incredibly exciting to see how mapping of genome-scale fingerprints of drug action is opening new possibilities and dimensions in applications of numerical methods and machine learning to support drug design.”

“The opportunity behind the forming of Orionis was that the existing pharmacopeia of approved drugs reflects relatively few disease targets being addressed with too many similar drugs. We have been steadily executing on our mission to bring together an array of technological innovations to enable discovery of a diversity of new drug candidates that act with high therapeutic target-focused precision,” commented Prof. Jan Tavernier.

Orionis Biosciences, named for the Orion star system, is a unique constellation of people, technology platforms and drug modalities. “We have quietly built and evolved our core science capabilities, portfolio of intellectual property and an exciting emerging pipeline of drug candidates, which we are advancing to unlock major value for the pharmaceutical industry and new treatment options for patients in need,” commented CEO Niko Kley.

About Allo-Glue™ Technology

Allo-Glue™ molecules are a unique class of allosterically acting small molecules that enable access to targets previously thought unapproachable. They act to alter the form and function of, and thereby reprogram, intracellular proteins to engage in molecular interactions that modulate disease target proteins, including promoting their degradation by a cell’s natural protein disposal machinery.

About Orionis Biosciences

Orionis Biosciences is a life sciences company pioneering technological innovation in genome-scale drug discovery and tunable molecular design of novel therapeutic drug modalities. Our technologies and pipeline include proprietary A-Kine™ biologics and Allo-Glue™ small molecule platforms with broad, innovative applications to the reprogramming of disease states. The company is currently advancing multiple novel immunotherapies for the treatment of cancer. Learn more at www.orionisbio.com.

Media Contact:
Madeline Davidshofer