Licensed rapamycin compounds to prevent age-related physiologic decline and lengthen healthspan will be developed by new Cambrian subsidiary Tornado Therapeutics led by Joan Mannick.
Cambrian Biopharma, a multi-asset longevity biotech, today announced a licensing agreement with Novartis to advance novel, selective compounds designed and characterised 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% .
Longevity.Technology: 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 rapamycin mTOR inhibitors extend health and lifespan in multiple organisms, including yeast, worms, flies and mice, establishing them as one of the best validated class of longevity therapeutics . The next generation mTOR inhibitors in-licensed by Cambrian are predicted to have improved safety and efficacy compared with currently approved rapalogs.
The rapamycin assets will be developed by new Cambrian subsidiary Tornado Therapeutics led by industry and Novartis veteran Joan Mannick, MD, 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 rapamycin assets, while Novartis received an upfront payment and is entitled to royalties and milestone payments for successfully commercialised medicines. Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
“Pioneers in longevity therapeutics have seen the potential of next-generation [rapamycin] 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.