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Ratio Therapeutics On BMS Investment, Radiopharma R&D Trends, AI Use

Sets Sail On Own Post Bayer, Merck, Lantheus Partnerships

Executive Summary

The CEO and CSO of radiopharmaceutical company Ratio Therapeutics, which now has Bristol Myers Squibb as an investor, talk about Ratio’s R&D platforms, use of AI, an independent FAP-targeted asset and trends in radiopharma research such as combining other modalities like ADCs, in this podcast interview with Scrip

Recent deals in radiopharmaceuticals, the latest being AstraZeneca PLC’s acquisition of Fusion Therapeutics, have drawn investor attention to a modality that has been the focus of academic interest for a long time.

It was in 1896 that Henri Becquerel discovered mysterious rays from uranium and in 1951 the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) first approved the radiopharmaceutical sodium iodide I-131 for use in thyroid patients.

Ratio Therapeutics CEO, Jack Hoppin CEO and Chairman, Jack Hoppin

Novartis AG’s prostate-specific membrane antigen (PSMA)-targeted lutetium vipivotide tetraxetan, used to treat castration-resistant prostate cancer, reported 2023 sales of $980m in its first full year on the market, making it the most successful product in the category.

Boston-based Ratio Therapeutics, Inc. has two R&D platforms - Trillium and Macropa - to develop radiopharmaceuticals. With a fibroblast activation protein (FAP)-targeted diagnostic handed over to Lantheus for further development, the company expects to file an investigational new drug (IND) application for a FAP-targeted therapeutic by the fourth quarter of this year.

In a radionuclide-agnostic approach, the company has been experimenting with the use of both beta particle-emitting lutetium and alpha particle-emitting actinium. The latest round of funding led to an investment by Bristol Myers Squibb Company, which notably acquired RayzeBio, Inc. to bolster its radiopharma portfolio towards the end of 2023.

John Babich, Ratio Therapeutics Chief Scientific Officer CSO, John Babich

Scrip spoke to Jack Hoppin, CEO and chairman, and John Babich, chief scientific officer, at Ratio Therapeutics about the company’s pipeline, use of artificial intelligence and the latest R&D trends and developments like combining antibody-drug conjugates (ADCs) or poly-ADP ribose polymerase (PARP) inhibitors such as Lynparza (olaparib) with radiopharmaceuticals.

Previous licensing and development agreements with Bayer AGMerck & Co., Inc. and Lantheus Holdings, Inc., a manufacturing tie-up with PharmaLogic, a "melting ice cream" phenomenon and supply chain challenges which had caused shortages of Pluvicto were also discussed, among other topics.


00:09 Brief introduction

03:03 Funding environment

04:11 FAP-targeted PET-imaging diagnostic candidate progress

05:49 Out-licensing to Lantheus

06:22 Clinical trial plan for FAP-targeted therapeutic

07:56 Actinium-225 use, monitoring, countering

10:56 Using Lutetium-177 in a therapeutic candidate

12:20 Radiopharmaceuticals in neurological disorders

14:06 Trillium platform to design candidates

18:54 Choice of FAP as a target

22:33 Combining radiopharmaceuticals with checkpoint or PARP inhibitors

26:26 Combining alpha- and beta-emitting isotopes

28:40 Role of AI in radiopharma

30:26 The melting ice cream phenomenon

33:00 Benefits of PharmaLogic partnership

36:12 Merck, Bayer, Lantheus tie-ups

37:39 Excitement in the field




(Also see "AstraZeneca Looks To Many Modalities In Cancer" - Scrip, 8 Apr, 2024.)

(Also see "BMS Makes Second Big Buy Of December, Pays $4.1bn For RayzeBio" - Scrip, 27 Dec, 2023.)

(Also see "BMS’ Boerner Bets On AI-Driven R&D In India, Points To Potential For MS, Lupus Drugs" - Scrip, 4 Mar, 2024.)

(Also see "What’s New, And What’s Coming, In Radiopharmaceuticals" - Scrip, 2 Feb, 2024.)

(Also see "Late To The Antibody-Drug Conjugate Party, But Will 2024 Be A Turning Point For India?" - Scrip, 4 Jan, 2024.)

(Also see "Bayer Saddles Up For Bicycle Radioconjugate Pact" - Scrip, 10 May, 2023.)

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