University of Calgary Originated Venture Signs $1 Billion Deal to Develop & Commercialize Drugs for Autoimmune Disease

May 17, 2019 | Autoimmune Disease, Immunotherapy, University of Calgary

Autoimmune Disease

Parvus Therapeutics, founded by a professor from University of Calgary, has entered a $1 billion dollar worldwide collaboration and license deal with San Francisco-based Genentech.  The new venture specializes in discovery, development, and commercialization of new medicines.

The two companies will target inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), autoimmune liver diseases (ALD), and celiac disease.  The technology was founded by Dr. Pere Santamaria, professor at the department of microbiology, immunology, and infectious diseases at the Cumming School of Medicine, University of Calgary.  The underlying intellectual property was first discovered in 2004 at the university.

Parvus was launched in 2007. Founder Santamaria himself had myasthenia gravis (a neuromuscular disease).  Parvus will receive an undisclosed upfront payment and then is eligible to receive additional payments based on the achievement of predetermined milestones. The entire deal is worth more than $1 billion.  Parvus has about a dozen employees working from both Calgary and San Francisco.