Spinout agrees potential $50 million deal
Published on 2 May 2023
University of Dundee spinout company Tay Therapeutics has announced a licensing deal potentially worth over $50 million in upfront and milestone payments, plus royalties.
The company has agreed the deal with VYNE Therapeutics Inc, a US-based biotech firm focused on developing therapies for immuno-inflammatory diseases. VYNE has licensed exclusive rights to develop Tay Therapeutics’ oral BET inhibitor as a potential treatment for immune-inflammatory and fibrotic disorders.
The Dundee-based company, which develops small molecules for oncology and severe inherited diseases, will receive $50 million in upfront and milestone payments. The company spun out of the University’s School of Life Sciences in 2020 and now employs 10 people at its Dundee base.
Tay Therapeutics’ scientists work on Bromodomain and Extra-Terminal Domain (BET) Inhibitors. Recent research has determined a key role for BET Inhibitors in inflammatory processes, meaning they have the potential to treat a range of immune-inflammatory and fibrotic disorders.
TAY-B2, the molecule developed by Tay and now known as VYN202, has demonstrated potent anti-inflammatory and anti-fibrotic effects in multiple validated preclinical models. This led VYNE to exercise its option to progress the molecule for treatment of major immuno-inflammatory conditions with high unmet need.
The deal follows the licensing of TAY-B1, now known as VYN201, to VYNE in 2021. The out-licensing of both Tay Therapeutics’ BET inhibitor projects will bring potential milestone revenues of over $65 million along with tiered royalty payments of up to 10% of net annual sales.
Dr Andrew Woodland, CEO of Tay Therapeutics, said, “The second deal with VYNE is the culmination of two years of discovery and development of BET inhibitors with differentiated selectivity and safety profiles.
“I am delighted for the Tay team and consider VYNE ideally placed to continue developing and maximising the value of the BET inhibitor projects. This deal further validates Tay’s business model of growing organically using revenues to support development activities with around £6 million received in upfront and milestone payments from the VYNE collaboration to date.”
With the out-licence of its BET inhibitor projects, Tay Therapeutics will now focus on developing a platform to discover and develop a new class of medicine that can cause the body to ignore specific mutations. By restoring functional proteins, the drugs seek to address the root cause of these diseases.
David Domzalski, President and CEO of VYNE, said, “We are thrilled to be licensing the oral BET project from Tay. As a result of our productive partnership, we are poised to announce clinical results for the topical BET inhibitor that we in-licensed from Tay about two years ago and look forward to developing an oral BET inhibitor molecule in immuno-inflammatory conditions that we believe, based on pre-clinical results, is potentially best-in-class.”
Tay is supported by its seed investors o2h Ventures, Meltwind, Wren Capital, Scottish Enterprise and the University of Dundee.
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