Portage to buy Tarus Therapeutics and its adenosine receptor pipeline

July 7, 2022

Connecticut-based Portage Biotech will acquire Tarus Therapeutics along with its four best-in-class assets targeting different aspects of the adenosine pathway.

Per the deal, Portage will hand over 2.4 million of its shares and assume $3 million of liabilities. Additionally, payments of up to $32 million in Portage shares or cash would be triggered by future development and sales milestones.

The new assets acquired from NY-based Tarus include:

  • TT-10 (now PORT-6): an adenosine receptor type 2A (A2A) inhibitor to treat solid tumors. PORT-6 has received IND clearance and Portage expects to move into a phase 1/2 clinical trial by the end of 2022 in an enriched patient population.
  • TT-4 (now PORT-7): an adenosine receptor type 2B (A2B) inhibitor to treat solid tumors, which has received IND clearance and which Portage plans to initiate clinical development in 2023.
  • TT-53 (now PORT-8): a dual inhibitor of adenosine receptors 2A and 2B (A2A/A2B) to address solid tumors. Portage plans to submit an IND in the near future.
  • TT-3 (now PORT-9): a gut selective A2B inhibitor to address gastrointestinal cancers, which is currently in preclinical studies.

Bolstered by promising clinical data supporting the role of adenosine in immunosuppression, Portage hopes the newly-acquired drug candidates will aid in its mission to develop novel opportunities to improve the landscape of immuno-oncology treatment for patients with cancer.