Pieris Pharmaceuticals to receive $20 million from Genentech to develop respiratory and ophthalmic therapies

Under the terms of the collaboration, the biotech company is eligible to receive more than US-Dollar 1.4 billion in additional potential milestone payments and royalties

Stephen Yoder Pieris

Stephen Yoder, President and CEO Pieris Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

“We are excited to partner with Pieris Pharmaceuticals to advance potential new therapies that we hope could make a significant difference in the lives of people who need them.”

James Sabry, M.D., Ph.D.
Global Head of Pharma Partnering, Roche

Pieris Pharmaceuticals, Inc. based in Boston, USA and Halbergmoos, near Munich, Germany, disclosed a research collaboration with Genentech, a member of the Roche Group, on May 26, 2021, that includes multiple programs and a licensing agreement. The goal is to identify and bring to market locally administered therapies for respiratory and ophthalmic diseases using Pieris’ proprietary Anticalin® technology. Pieris is a clinical-stage biotechnology company that was based at the Biotechnology Innovation and Incubation Center (IZB) from 2008 to 2020. Using its proprietary Anticalin® technology platform, Pieris is developing novel biotherapeutics for respiratory diseases, cancer and other indications.

New therapies for respiratory and eye diseases
Under the research collaboration, Pieris will combine its technology with Genentech’s targets and its preclinical and clinical development expertise to develop novel therapies for the treatment of respiratory and ocular diseases. These two focus areas of the collaboration are uniquely suited to the advantages offered by the small size of Anticalin proteins when administered locally.

“We look forward to working closely with Genentech on the development of new inhaled and ophthalmological treatments based on the Anticalin platform. This collaboration further expands our partnered efforts in respiratory diseases and opens a new avenue for our Anticalin technology to potentially provide patient benefit through local biological effects. This is our second respiratory alliance with a major biopharma company, and we remain deeply committed to inhaled biologics, which have already shown benefit in the clinic. We also look forward to pursuing another local application of our technology in ophthalmology, where Genentech has extensive capabilities,” said Stephen S. Yoder, President and Chief Executive Officer of Pieris.

Collaboration between Genentech and Pieris Pharmaceuticals
“Genentech has a longstanding commitment to understanding the underlying biology of respiratory and ocular diseases and translating this expertise into treatments for patients,” said James Sabry, M.D., Ph.D., Global Head of Pharma Partnering, Roche. “We are excited to partner with Pieris Pharmaceuticals to advance potential new therapies that we hope could make a significant difference in the lives of people who need them.”

Under the terms of the agreement, Pieris will receive $20 million as an upfront payment and may be eligible to receive more than $1.4 billion in additional milestone payments across multiple programs, as well as tiered royalties for commercialized programs. Pieris will be responsible for discovery research and early preclinical development of the programs, and Genentech will be responsible for IND-enabling activities, clinical development, and commercialization of those programs. Genentech will also have the option to select additional targets in return for an option exercise fee. The collaboration does not include any of Pieris’ internal programs.

“Pieris Pharmaceuticals was already able to conclude a 2.1 billion cooperation with Astrazeneca in 2017. We are delighted that Pieris has now been able to agree a further billion deal with Genentech,” said Dr Peter Hanns Zobel, Managing Director of IZB.