Proteostasis Therapeutics Merges With Yumanity Therapeutics

Joana Carvalho, PhD avatar

by Joana Carvalho, PhD |

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gene therapy collaboration

Proteostasis Therapeutics (PTI) has entered into a definitive merger agreement with Yumanity Therapeutics to leverage their common expertise about protein misfolding to advance the development of disease-modifying therapies for several disorders.

The merger should be complete before the end of the year. The combined company will operate under the name Yumanity Therapeutics, Inc.

PTI, which is developing several potential therapies for cystic fibrosis (CF), also announced that until the merger is complete, its stockholders will be eligible to receive a portion of the net proceeds resulting from any monetization of its proprietary CFTR modulators for CF. CFTR modulators are a group of therapies designed to correct the defects in the CFTR protein that lead to the onset of CF.

This will be attained through the implementation of contingent value rights (CVR), a strategy that allows a company undergoing internal reorganization or being acquired by another company to offer certain benefits — in the form of CVRs — to its current shareholders once certain conditions are met.

“The combination of PTI and Yumanity brings together two technologies rooted in a shared scientific legacy of protein misfolding as the basis of disease, as well as capabilities and resources that offer shareholders a broad platform for value creation,” Meenu Chhabra, president and CEO of PTI, said in a press release.

PTI’s proprietary CFTR modulators, including dirocaftor (PTI-808), posenacaftor (PTI-801), and nesolicaftor (PTI-428), are being investigated in CHOICES, a clinical trial program that will evaluate the effectiveness of a personalized combination of these three therapies — first in organoids and then in patients.

Organoids are organ-like structures grown in a lab dish from certain types of cells. In CHOICES, intestinal organoids are being created from cells collected from patients undergoing rectal biopsies. So far, 502 patients already enrolled in the organoid portion of the trial. Data from this first part of the study is expected later this year.

“We believe that our CF drug candidates have the highest probability of reaching patients in the hands of a pharmaceutical company with global development and commercialization capabilities that shares our vision of empowering the global CF patient community with more treatment options is realized,” Chhabra said.

“It has been an honor to serve the CF community in the fight to bring new treatment options to patients and their families,” Chhabra added.

Following the merge, the first priority will be to advance the development of YTX-7739, Yumanity’s investigational treatment candidate for Parkinson’s disease. This will be followed by candidates for other neurodegenerative diseases, including amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and frontotemporal lobar dementia (FTLD).

“We believe the combined company is well-positioned to advance multiple programs into and through the clinic, including Yumanity’s lead candidate YTX-7739, currently in Phase 1 trials for the treatment of Parkinson’s disease. We are excited to be working with Yumanity’s management team and leading investors to complete the merger,” Chhabra said.

“Today’s announcement brings together two organizations that share a common scientific heritage in the science of protein misfolding and brings that science one step closer to novel solutions for patients,” said Tony Coles, MD, chairman and co-founder of Yumanity Therapeutics.

“We look forward to continuing this important clinical work on behalf of patients as we make this transition to becoming a public company,” Coles said.