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Aug 9, 2012

Pfizer Raises Its Bet on Nodality

  • Pfizer will use Nodality’s Single Cell Network Profiling (SCNP) technology to develop new compounds for autoimmune diseases, starting with Lupus.

    Under a multiyear strategic collaboration agreement, Pfizer has the option to join with Nodality in developing new companion diagnostics as well. Nodality said it will receive from Pfizer an upfront payment, R&D funding, and milestone payments, all of which are undisclosed.

    SCNP, a technology that enables personalized medicine, analyzes internal cell signaling networks before and after modulation with a biologically relevant modulator, at the single cell level, in hundreds of thousands or millions of cells.

    Nodality, which now has about 40 employees, expects to hire 10 new staffers in coming months to carry out additional R&D, Dan Dornbusch, Nodality’s VP of business development, told Xconomy.

    The two companies have been intertwined for years on the financing side. Last month, Pfizer’s venture capital arm joined Kleiner Perkins Caulfield & Byers, TPG Biotechnology, and Maverick Capital in co-leading a $15 million financing round for Nodality. The company said proceeds would advance ongoing and new R&D programs—including in autoimmune diseases, solid tumors and other hematologic malignancies—as well as support commercialization of Nodality’s tests in hematologic malignancies.

    Shakti Narayan, Nodality’s senior director of business development, told Xconomy his company will release evidence supporting its tests for acute myeloid leukemia and chronic lymphocytic leukemia in December at the American Society of Hematology meeting.

    Pfizer Venture Investments (PVI) has been a Nodality investor since joining Maverick in completing a $20-million Series B round in 2009 for purposes that included research associated with Nodality’s first test in acute myeloid leukemia. A year later, PVI alone led a $15.5 million venture round whose proceeds were used toward activities associated with the company's launch of its first test in acute myelogenous leukemia, as well as ongoing and new R&D programs in other hematologic malignancies, autoimmune diseases, and solid tumors.

    The new collaboration with Pfizer is Nodality’s second hammered out with a pharma giant this year. In February, Nodality said it would help Belgium’s UCB develop new drugs for immunology disorders using SCNP, in return for undisclosed upfront and milestone payments, R&D finding, and possible eligibility for royalties on future diagnostics sales.

    Sources:


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