Revolution Medicines is acquiring Cambridge, Massachusetts-based Warp Drive Bio, an antibiotics developer. No financial terms were disclosed. The deal is expected to close by the end of this month. Warp Drive Bio is backed by Third Rock Ventures, Sanofi and Greylock.
REDWOOD CITY, Calif. & CAMBRIDGE, Mass.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–REVOLUTION Medicines, Inc. and Warp Drive Bio, Inc. announced today that REVOLUTION Medicines is acquiring Warp Drive Bio. The acquisition will combine the companies’ complementary drug discovery technologies and precision oncology programs directed toward frontier oncology targets – elusive drivers of notorious cancer-promoting pathways. The deal, which is expected to close by the end of this month subject to customary closing conditions, involves issuance of REVOLUTION Medicines stock to stockholders of Warp Drive Bio.
“The merged R&D portfolio represents a rich pipeline of near- and long-term development opportunities for our R&D team to advance in support of our continuing commitment to translate frontier oncology targets on behalf of cancer patients,” said Mark A. Goldsmith, M.D., Ph.D., president and chief executive officer of REVOLUTION Medicines. “We appreciate the groundbreaking research by Warp Drive Bio scientists that inspired this deal. The synergistic combination of capabilities and assets will deepen our ability to target cancer drivers precisely and comprehensively and will accelerate our trajectory as a leading oncology company.”
This strategic transaction brings together two biotechnology companies that are both grounded in the molecules and mechanisms of nature to discover first- and/or best-in-class drugs. REVOLUTION Medicines deploys deep biological pathway discovery and advanced chemistry, including its REVBLOCKS™ modular platform, to discover and develop small and more complex “beyond rule of 5” molecules to defeat frontier targets that drive cancer. Its lead program is directed to the enzyme SHP2, a key regulator of growth signaling by select oncogenic mutant proteins in the RAS growth signaling pathway. The company’s selective SHP2 inhibitor RMC-4630 is currently in a Phase 1 clinical trial and is the centerpiece of a global collaboration with Sanofi on SHP2. Additional programs in the preclinical pipeline target other key cancer-promoting pathways.
Warp Drive Bio developed a highly innovative drug modality (SMART™) based on the molecular design and optimization of compounds to engage surfaces on disease-causing proteins that were previously viewed as undruggable. Inhibitors created using this technology exploit unique molecular contacts that have not been possible with traditional small molecules, which enables highly differentiated modes of action. For example, unlike other compounds that have been described, inhibitors of KRAS-G12C derived by this approach uniquely antagonize the activated (GTP-bound) form of this prominent driver of cancer. This platform is highly compatible with the strengths of REVOLUTION Medicines in exploiting natural product macrocycles as chemical leads, and the KRAS-targeted programs are complementary to its existing precision oncology pipeline.
“I’m proud of the outstanding work by our team that has delivered promising platform advances and product opportunities,” said Laurence Reid, Ph.D., president and chief executive officer of Warp Drive Bio. “Our board of directors is confident that integrating the two companies’ portfolios is the right path to create a strong, diversified and synergistic oncology product pipeline. REVOLUTION Medicines is an excellent organization for maximizing impact for cancer patients from the merged portfolio and creating value for investors.”
REVOLUTION Medicines will maintain a research site in Cambridge during a transition period. Warp Drive Bio’s discovery collaborations with GlaxoSmithKline (oncology) and Roche (antibiotics) will continue while REVOLUTION Medicines determines its business strategy for the genome mining platform.
About REVOLUTION Medicines
The mission of REVOLUTION Medicines is to discover and develop new drugs directed toward frontier oncology targets for cancer patients. Frontier targets include proteins that drive the growth and survival of cancer but carry atypical structural or regulatory features requiring unconventional drug discovery strategies. The company brings together deep talent in cancer biology and small molecule drug discovery supported by advanced chemical synthesis, computational and assay technologies to master these targets. Seasoned translational and development scientists help to fulfill the company’s commitment to precision oncology.
Headquartered in Redwood City, Calif. at the intersection of Silicon Valley and the birthplace of biotechnology, REVOLUTION Medicines is a private company financed by top-tier investors.