Respiratory, Cardiovascular and Metabolic Disease
Leveraging the high bioavailability of Bicycles as topical inhaled agents, Bicycle has partnered with a world leader in respiratory science, AstraZeneca, to evaluate the potential for local delivery of inhaled Bicycles in the lung. In the same collaboration, AstraZeneca is evaluating Bicycles for the treatment of cardiovascular and metabolic diseases. AstraZeneca is using its therapy area expertise and access to significant resources to lead the optimization of Bicycles identified by the Bicycle platform. In addition to the significant patient benefit that can result from leveraging the Bicycle technology in these diseases, Bicycle can receive >$1B in milestone payments, as well as single digit royalties should all products reach the market. In May 2018, Bicycle and AstraZeneca expanded their collaboration to include additional targets in respiratory, cardiovascular and metabolic diseases.
The pharmacological and physicochemical characteristics of Bicycles also make them well-suited for ophthalmology indications. Bicycle has partnered with leading ophthalmology company Oxurion, formerly ThromboGenics, for the development of novel plasma kallikrein inhibitors, including THR-149 for the treatment of diabetic macular edema (DME). A Phase 1 clinical study of THR-149 in patients with DME was completed in July 2019 and positive topline results were announced, showing that THR-149 was well-tolerated and safe, with improvements to patients’ best corrected visual acuity (BCVA) starting at Day 1 and maintained out to Day 90. More on the Phase 1 results can be read here. Bicycle receives milestones and royalty payments from the collaboration. Bicycle and Oxurion extended the alliance in January 2018.
With the rapidly growing threat of antimicrobial resistance, new anti-infective products are urgently needed. Bicycles are structurally similar to many of the commonly prescribed and highly effective antibiotics, making them ideal templates for the design of next generation antibacterial drugs. In 2018, Bicycle secured a grant from Innovate UK, the UK’s innovation agency tasked with partnering to drive the science and technology innovations that will grow the UK economy. This grant allows Bicycle to apply its technology to develop the next generation of antibiotics.
Bicycle secured additional funding in 2019 under a contract from the U.K. Department of Health and Social Care as part of the Small Business Research Initiative. Under the contract, Bicycle will identify Bicycle inhibitors to a range of Penicillin Binding Proteins (PBPs) from pathogens of significant medical concern and investigate their antimicrobial activity.
In May 2019, Bicycle formed a collaboration with the Dementia Discovery Fund (DDF) to use Bicycle technology for the development of novel therapeutics for neurodegenerative diseases. DDF is a specialized venture capital fund focused on discovering and developing novel therapies for dementia. Under the terms of the agreement, Bicycle will identify Bicycles® that bind to clinically validated dementia targets. If promising lead compounds are identified, Bicycle and DDF have the option to jointly establish a new company to further develop those compounds. In October 2019, the collaboration was expanded to include Oxford University’s Oxford Drug Discovery Institute, one of three institutes within the Alzheimer’s Research UK Drug Discovery Alliance and an expert in diseases of the central nervous system.