Bicycle Therapeutics announced the receipt of a preclinical milestone in connection with the advancement of a Bicycle into preclinical development for the treatment of diabetic macular edema, under its ophthalmology alliance with ThromboGenics, a biopharmaceutical company focused on developing treatments for back of the eye disease.
Bicycles are a novel class of small molecule medicines designed to overcome many of the limitations of existing drug modalities. They can be used as standalone therapeutic entities or coupled to deliver a variety of therapeutic payloads, and exhibit the affinity and exquisite target specificity usually associated with antibodies but in a small molecule format enabling rapid tissue penetration and flexible routes of administration.
Bicycle Therapeutics and ThromboGenics previously agreed to develop a Bicycle inhibitor to plasma kallikrein for the treatment of ophthalmic disease. Under the terms of the agreement, ThromboGenics has an exclusive license to undertake preclinical and clinical development and subsequent commercialization of a specified drug candidate; in return Bicycle receives development milestone payments and royalties on sales of products resulting from the collaboration.
“We’re delighted to be realizing our first candidate milestone from a Bicycle alliance and to be advancing another Bicycle towards the clinic for the treatment of a significant disease, in this case DME,” Kevin Lee, PhD, Chief Executive Officer of Bicycle Therapeutics, said in a company news release. “This achievement confirms the potential for Bicycles to be developed as a new therapeutic modality option to address a broad range of poorly treated diseases. We are continuing to expand our pipeline through strategic research collaborations which will extend our reach into new therapeutic areas and allow us to explore new applications for the Bicycle platform.”
“This is an exciting moment in our partnership with Bicycle Therapeutics," Patrik De Haes, MD, Chief Executive Officer of ThromboGenics, said in the news release. “We believe that THR-149, a novel plasma kallikrein inhibitor, holds great promise for ophthalmology applications, expanding the range of treatment options available for people with diseases of the eye, particularly DME. We are rapidly moving towards the clinic, and expect to begin clinical development early in 2018.”