Pfizer pays Arvinas $830m to discover drugs that target mis-folded proteins

By Gareth Macdonald

- Last updated on GMT


Related tags Protein Enzyme

Pfizer Inc has paid Arvinas Llc $830m (€693m) to develop small molecule drug candidates that treat diseases caused by mis-folded proteins.

Arvinas uses protacs, which are compounds that trigger the cell's housekeeping system – the proteasome – to degrade disease-causing proteins.

They work by prompting cellular enzymes to attach a ubiquitin molecule to the target protein, which marks it for removal.

The Connecticut firm claims its approach removes the need for systemic exposure, which is required by therapies that inhibit misfolded proteins, thereby reducing the risk of side effects.

Under the deal, Arvinas will discover and develop candidates designed to degrade disease-causing proteins in multiple therapeutic areas.

In addition to the upfront fee, Pfizer will pay development and commercial milestones and sales royalties if any of the candidates become products.


The Pfizer deal comes a few months after Arvinas expanded its collaboration with Roche’s Genentech division.

Under the agreement, added more disease targets to an original discovery and development accord signed in 2015.

Arvinas has a similar deal with US drug manufacturer Merck & Co, known as MSD outside of the US and Canada.

The agreement – also signed in 2015 – covers the discovery of candidate protac molecules.

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