The Life Sciences team advised Arrakis Therapeutics on its research collaboration agreement with Amgen (NASDAQ:AMGN), focused on the discovery and development of RNA degrader therapeutics against a range of difficult-to-drug targets in multiple therapeutic areas. This new class of "targeted RNA degraders" consists of small molecule drugs that selectively destroy RNAs encoding disease-causing proteins by inducing their proximity to nucleases.
Arrakis is a biopharmaceutical company pioneering the discovery of a new class of medicines that directly target RNA.
Under the terms of the agreement, Arrakis will lead research activities for the identification of RNA-targeted small molecule (rSM) binders against a broad set of targets nominated by Amgen. Both parties will collaboratively design and functionalize these molecules to specifically degrade targeted RNAs, and Amgen will lead further preclinical and clinical development activities. Amgen will pay $75 million upfront to Arrakis for five initial programs and will have the option to nominate additional programs. For each program, Arrakis will be eligible for additional payments from Amgen for preclinical, clinical, regulatory and sales milestones, and royalties up to low double digits. Arrakis could potentially receive several billion dollars in future payments if all milestones are met and future program options are exercised.