Israel-based Ayala, a company which specializes in developing cancer treatments, has signed a licensing deal with pharma giants Novartis for developing a treatment for blood cancer. The AL102 agent developed by Ayala is a potential prospect for treating multiple myeloma. Under the deal, Ayala will receive an upfront investment of $10 million as an equity investment from Novartis and will be further eligible to receive compensation on successful completion of clinical, regulatory, development, and commercial milestones. Along with compensation for different milestones, the Israel-based company will receive a fixed proportion of royalties on the global sales of AL102.
Ayala Pharmaceuticals is based in Rehovot, Israel and specializes in developing cancer medicines using the technique of genetic identification. Novartis plans to study the effectiveness of the AL102 agent in combination with its B-cell maturation antigen (BCMA) therapies for treating multiple myeloma. Ayala will provide the drug supply required for conducting the research while the costs of development will be solely incurred by Novartis. Further, Ayala will retain the global rights for AL102 for all other purposes. Ayala is a pharmaceutical startup founded in 2017. The company raised $17 million in series A funding which was led by the Israeli Biotech Fund and aMoon and Harel Insurance and Finance. The company was founded with a vision to develop two cancer treating drugs for Bristol Myers Squibb (BMS), a company which holds a major stake in the startup.
In a recently released statement, Ayala expressed their pleasure on entering an alliance with Novartis stating that the latter was their company of choice owing to their expertise in oncology and their proven record of successfully developing effective drugs. Further, Ayala stated that the fresh investment will provide a major boost to its finances and also approves of their technology and manufacturing methods.
AL102 is an oral substance which inhibits the production of gamma-secretase. Gamma-secretase is an enzyme that has been linked to increased levels of BCMA, a condition that is found prominently in patients suffering from multiple myeloma. Ayala is dedicated to developing targeted therapies for treating genomically-defined cancers. The Israel-based company’s work has been appraised and welcomed as most genomically-defined cancers lack the effective treatment required to cure them. Apart from evaluating AL102 in combination with the anti-BMCA therapy, Ayala is studying AL102 to find if it proves effective as the inhibitor of the Notch Pathway in other forms of hematological cancers.