Bicycle and Novartis team to develop Radio-Conjugates

The collaboration will see Novartis help to discover, develop, and commercialize Bicycle’s Radio-Conjugates (BCRs).

Millie Nelson, Editor

March 29, 2023

2 Min Read
Bicycle and Novartis team to develop Radio-Conjugates

The collaboration will see Novartis help to discover, develop, and commercialize Bicycle’s Radio-Conjugates (BCRs).

Bicycle Therapeutics, a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on developing therapies based on its bicyclic peptide technology, has signed a deal with Novartis to advance and produce BRCs for numerous oncology targets.

Under the terms of the agreement, Bicycle will use its bicyclic peptide technology to discover “Bicycles” to be developed into BRCs. Novartis will be responsible for further advancement, production, and commercialization.



“It’s a similar construct to the more familiar antibody drug conjugate (ADC) technology in that just as the antibody is linked to a toxin payload, so is our bicyclic peptide linked to a toxin payload. It’s important to note peptides (which are short chains of amino acids) tend to be floppy, akin to wet noodles. We combine ours with a 3D scaffold to give it structure,” a spokesperson for Bicycle told BioProcess Insider.

According to the spokesperson, there are multiple advantages to this technology over others available in the industry.

“First our bicyclic peptides are 50-100x smaller than antibodies. This small size allows them to get to the tumor site fast and leave the body just as quickly. Our bicyclic peptide half-lives are measured in hours rather than days as is the case with antibodies. Their small size also allows them to be excreted through the kidney rather than the liver, unlike antibodies. This means that liver tox is a far less likely side effect for us. Finally, the small size allows them to rapidly penetrate the tumor. We have biopsy data from clinical trials which show 10 times the amount of our drug in the tumor vs drug in the surrounding plasma.”

Bicycle expects to work on this partnership at its sites in Cambridge, UK and Cambridge, US and the time-limit to this deal has not been disclosed. Additionally, Bicycle will receive a $50 million upfront payment from Novartis with the potential to receive up to $1.7 billion dependent on milestones and commercial royalties.

About the Author(s)

Millie Nelson

Editor, BioProcess Insider

Journalist covering global biopharmaceutical manufacturing and processing news and host of the Voices of Biotech podcast.

I am currently living and working in London but I grew up in Lincolnshire (UK) and studied in Newcastle (UK).

Got a story? Feel free to email me at [email protected]

You May Also Like