MOMA Therapeutics and Roche have announced a five-year partnership and licensing agreement, providing Roche with access to MOMA’s KnowledgeBase platform.

The platform is designed for identifying and advancing novel drug targets associated with the promotion of cancer cell growth and survival.

MOMA’s KnowledgeBase integrates advanced structure-function capabilities, lead-finding technologies, and computation-enabled lead optimisation.

The platform is rooted in the innovative concept that functionally related targets, despite lacking sequence homology, share three-dimensional structural motifs. These motifs can be leveraged to develop highly impactful therapies.

The customized platform has proven effective for MOMA in expediting drug discovery within the ATPase target class. This particular class poses challenges in identifying therapeutically viable drugs due to the extensive dynamic protein motion associated with a high number of genetically validated targets.

MOMA CEO Asit Parikh said: “Given its deep expertise and global footprint in oncology, Roche represents an ideal collaborator with whom to further advance the application of MOMA’s platform in a way that impacts patients’ lives.

“The vision for this collaboration was crafted jointly with Roche to enable each party to bring its strengths in pursuit of this shared goal.

“It also contributes to the long-term sustainability of MOMA’s core focus as we advance our rich pipeline of precision oncology programs to the clinic.”

As part of the collaboration, MOMA Therapeutics is set to receive an initial upfront cash payment of $66m. Furthermore, MOMA stands to gain discovery, development, and commercialisation milestone payments that could surpass $2bn, along with tiered royalties.

MOMA will take the lead in overseeing all activities related to selected targets up to the confirmation of a development candidate. Meanwhile, Roche will assume responsibility for IND-enabling activities, clinical development, and commercialisation.

If multiple collaborative assets progress to pivotal clinical studies, MOMA will secure the right to co-fund the late-stage development of one product. In return, MOMA will receive enhanced royalties specifically in the US for this particular product.

Roche pharma partnering global head James Sabry said: “We are excited to join forces with MOMA, combining our leadership in oncology with MOMA’s deep expertise in drug discovery for difficult-to-drug and novel targets in oncology.

“The broader field of cancer dependencies is of high importance for Roche and we are looking forward to further deepening our knowledge and discovering novel targets involved in cancer cell growth and survival leveraging MOMA’s innovative platform.”