Novo follows three Swiss forays into a novel inflammatory target

Yesterday’s deal between Novo Nordisk and the private Canadian company Ventus Therapeutics represents the fourth recent move by a big company to access the NLRP3 inhibitor space. Roche and Novartis have led the way here, the former striking first with the takeover of Jecure in 2018, and the latter following with that of IFM Tre before Roche took a second dip and bought Inflazome. Clinical-stage projects targeting NLRP3, an inflammasome receptor thought to be involved in a variety of inflammatory diseases, include the IFM Tre and Inflazome-originated CFV890 and selnoflast respectively, while Ventus is still at the IND-enabling stage. Valuations already seem pretty rich. Novo is paying Ventus $70m up front; IFM Tre and Inflzome were sold for $310m and €380m ($373m) respectively; it was not disclosed how much Jecure fetched, but the group, which has yet to yield any lead projects, had raised just $20m in a series A before being acquired. Interestingly, Ventus has licensed only its lead, peripherally restricted asset, VENT-01, to Novo, for renal, cardiovascular and hepatic conditions including Nash. The private biotech retains rights to the brain-penetrant NLRP3 inhibitor VENT-02, for use in CNS inflammation and neurodegeneration.

Selected NLRP3 inhibitors
Project Company Trial details
Phase 3
RRx-001 Epicentrx Replatinum in 3rd-line+ SCLC
Phase 2
Dapansutrile (OLT1177) Olatec Therapeutics NCT03595371 in Schnitzler's syndrome, completes Dec 2022
DFV890 (IFM-2427) Novartis (via IFM Tre) NCT04868968 in FCAS completes Jan 2023; NCT04886258 in knee osteoarthritis completes Mar 2024
ZYIL1 Zydus Cadila NCT05186051 in CAPS completed Jul 2022
Phase 1
Selnoflast (RG6418/IZD334) Roche (via Inflazome) NCT04086602 in healthy volunteers/CAPS pts completed Feb 2020, still listed in Roche's pipeline
HT-6184* Halia Therapeutics NCT05447546 in healthy volunteers completes Oct 2022
VTX2735 Ventyx Biosciences Completed ph1 Jun 2022; ph2 in CAPS planned for Q4 2022
NT-0796** Nodthera Completed ph1 Sep 2022
NT-0249 Nodthera Completed ph1 Sep 2022
VTX3232** Ventyx Biosciences Ph1 planned for Q1 2023
VENT-01 Novo Nordisk (via Ventus) IND-enabling studies incl in Nash & chronic kidney disease
VENT-03** Ventus IND-enabling studies in CNS diseases
Note: *NEK7 & NLRP3 inhibitor; **brain-penetrant NLRP3 inhibitor; CAPS=cryopyrin associated periodic syndromes; FCAS=familial cold auto-inflammatory syndrome. Source: Evaluate Pharma &

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