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SpringWorks Therapeutics Licenses TEAD Inhibitor Portfolio From Belgian Research Institutes

This article has been updated to note that BGB-3245 is a RAF dimer inhibitor, not a BRAF inhibitor.

NEW YORK – SpringWorks Therapeutics said on Thursday it has entered an exclusive worldwide license agreement with Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (KU Leuven) and the Flanders Institute for Biotechnology (VIB) for a portfolio of TEAD inhibitors.

SpringWorks will pay KU Leuven and VIB $11 million upfront. The two research centers will also be eligible to receive up to $285 million in development, regulatory, and commercial milestones, along with tiered single-digit percentage royalties based on any future net sales.

TEAD inhibitors target the Hippo pathway, which in about 10 percent of cancers can be dysregulated due to genetic alterations. The research centers have already generated promising preclinical data on the portfolio of TEAD inhibitors, which SpringWorks will use to pick a drug to advance into studies to support an investigational new drug application next year, CEO Saqib Islam said in a statement.

"We are very pleased to expand our portfolio with the in-licensing of these selective and potent TEAD inhibitors, which are highly complementary to our strategy of developing novel targeted therapies for patients with biomarker-defined tumors," Islam said.

Stamford, Connecticut-based SpringWorks' pipeline includes mirdametinib, a MEK inhibitor being studied in RAS- and RAF-mutated solid tumors; nirogacestat, a gamma secretase inhibitor being studied in multiple myeloma; and BGB-3245, a RAF dimer inhibitor being developed by SpringWorks and BeiGene subsidiary MapKure for those with BRAF tumor mutations.