SEOUL, Dec. 7 (Korea Bizwire) — SK Holdings Co., an investment arm of South Korean conglomerate SK Group, said Monday it has signed a strategic partnership deal with U.S. biopharmaceutical firm Roivant Sciences Ltd. to enter the targeted protein degradation drug market.
Under the deal, SK will invest US$200 million into Roivant’s targeted protein degradation platform that will include novel degraders for multiple diseases across oncology, immunology and neurology.
Targeted protein degradation is a therapeutic approach that aims to destroy a disease-causing protein. It is believed to have better potency and selectivity compared to conventional small molecule inhibition, thus providing improved efficacy.
Roivant, founded in 2014, is known for its AI system and digital platform for drug development.
It has designed degraders for six unique targets, and the first therapeutic candidate from its targeted protein degradation platform is scheduled to enter clinical studies next year, according to SK.
“We believe that AI-powered targeted protein degradation will not only improve inefficiencies in the pharmaceutical industry, but also generate significant social impact by tackling unmet medical needs,” said Jang Dong-hyun, CEO of SK Holdings.
“In addition to this partnership, we look forward to working together to innovate on other aspects of health care with a long-term vision.”