Cambrian Biopharma Announces Plan to Develop Selective mTOR Inhibitors (2)

Here is the new announcement:

Feb. 16, 2022 /PRNewswire/ – Cambrian Biopharma, a multi-asset longevity biotech, today announced a licensing agreement with Novartis to advance novel, selective compounds designed and characterized by Novartis to target the mechanistic target of rapamycin (mTOR) pathway. The licensed assets are structural analogs of the FDA-approved drug rapamycin, which has been shown to prevent or reverse multiple age-related health deficits in mice and extend their average lifespan by up to 31%.

The assets will be developed by new Cambrian subsidiary Tornado Therapeutics led by industry and Novartis veteran Joan Mannick, M.D., as CEO. The most advanced asset is now moving into IND-enabling studies, while a second asset is undergoing preclinical efficacy testing.

Under the terms of the agreement, Cambrian acquired exclusive, worldwide rights to the assets, while Novartis received an upfront payment and is entitled to royalties and milestone payments for successfully commercialized medicines. Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

“Pioneers in longevity therapeutics have seen the potential of next-generation mTOR inhibitors for years,” said James Peyer, CEO of Cambrian Biopharma. “This partnership, led by Dr. Mannick and combining Cambrian’s development capabilities with the foundational work done at Novartis, creates a fantastic opportunity to bring a new class of potentially safer, more effective mTOR inhibitors to patients.”

“Although mTOR inhibitors are the best validated therapeutic targeting aging biology, their potential benefits for human aging are just beginning to be explored,” said Dr. Mannick, CEO of Tornado Therapeutics. “The assets we have in-licensed from Novartis will allow us to do a thorough assessment of the safety and efficacy of mTOR inhibitors in aging-related conditions in humans with the ultimate goal of extending healthy lifespan.”

Dr. Mannick joins Tornado Therapeutics from Life Biosciences, where she served as Head of Research and Development. Prior to joining Life Biosciences, she was the Co-Founder and Chief Medical Officer of resTORbio, now Adicet Bio. Previously, she served as Executive Director of the New Indications Discovery Unit at the Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research, where she led clinical studies of mTOR inhibitors to improve immune function in older adults. Prior to Novartis, Dr. Mannick served as Medical Director at Genzyme working in multiple therapeutic areas and was faculty member at Harvard Medical School and University of Massachusetts Medical School. She received an A.B. from Harvard College and an M.D. from Harvard Medical School and completed her residency at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, followed by an infectious diseases fellowship as part of the Harvard Combined Infectious Diseases Program.

About mTOR Inhibitors

The FDA-approved drug rapamycin and its analogues (rapalogs) are inhibitors of the mechanistic target of rapamycin (mTOR). mTOR inhibitors are an exceptionally well-explored therapeutic class, encompassing three FDA-approved medications evaluated in more than 3,000 clinical trials. Recent studies have demonstrated that mTOR inhibitors extend health and lifespan in multiple organisms, including yeast, worms, flies and mice, establishing them as the best validated class of longevity therapeutics. The next generation mTOR inhibitors in-licensed by Cambrian are predicted to have improved safety and efficacy as compared to currently approved rapalogs.

About Cambrian Biopharma

Cambrian Biopharma is building the medicines that will redefine healthcare in the 21st century – therapeutics to lengthen healthspan, the period of life spent in good health.

As a Distributed Development Company (or DisCo), Cambrian is advancing multiple scientific breakthroughs each targeting a biological driver of aging. Our approach is to develop interventions that treat specific diseases first, then deploy them as preventative medicines to improve overall quality of life as we age. To date, Cambrian has 17 novel therapeutics in development across its pipeline.

  1. Selvarani, R., Mohammed, S. & Richardson, A. Effect of rapamycin on aging and age-related diseases—past and future. GeroScience 43, 1135 (2021).

  2. Miller, R. A. et al. Rapamycin-mediated lifespan increase in mice is dose and sex dependent and metabolically distinct from dietary restriction. Aging Cell 13, 468 (2014).

SOURCE Cambrian Biopharma

Note: There is a good Interview on this Podcast with James Peyer, co-founder of Cambrian Biopharma

1 Like

Interesting. I wonder if this bring about lower cost, good quality alternatives to the market. I will be very interested to see how the future development of these mTOR inhibitors affects the market.

Unlikely to put any downward price pressure in the market - just as an example Everolimus (Novartis Afinitor) has just recently gone generic. The brand name drug was, and still is, priced at about $15,000 per month for 30 tablets a month (see Good RX Afinitor 10mg/30 tablets here). The generic has come out and is now about $2,800 per month in the US (see 10mg generic Everolimus here) (vs. a $100 to $200 per month in India (see Everolimus 10mg here on Indiamart).

Any new mTOR inhibitor drug that comes out of these research projects / startup longevity companies will, I expect, be priced similarly to the historic mTOR inhibitor prices… so would only be used by the wealthy, at least initially, since there would be no insurance coverage for anti-aging applications.

The key question will be how much better they are than existing rapalogs - rapamycin, everolimus, etc. , and whether they justify the price differential. I suspect rapamycin / everolimus will be the best balance of cost/ effectiveness in a product for most of the people (with limited budgets) for the next decade or two.

1 Like

Well I think that competition to capitalize on the trends will compel many companies to produce their own versions of mTOR inhibitors. I think that will eventually drive the price down a little as there will be a variety of brands for the public/doctors to choose from along with insurance coverage(if that happens).
You make a good point though will the quality of these brands, and really at the end of the day I wonder how much the difference is in the actually amount /quality listed in comparison to the drugs you can get generically.