04.08.2015 - In a deal worth US$65m upfront, AstraZeneca is again teaming up with long-time partner Isis Pharmaceuticals Inc., this time to discover and develop RNA antisense drugs for cardiovascular, metabolic and renal diseases.
As part of the strategic collaboration, the British pharma major with Swedish roots will pay US-based Isis, a specialist in RNA-targeted technology, US$65m (€59.3m) upfront as well as milestone payments for each programme brought to clinical development and royalties.
The two companies first partnered up in 2012 in order to develop RNA therapeutics for cancer in a deal that netted Isis US$31m (€28.3m) upfront. Now, they are expanding the antisense collaboration to cardiovascular, metabolic and renal disease drug discovery and development – among the key therapeutic areas of AstraZeneca in which the company has broad expertise. “Antisense drugs are short, chemically-modified, single-stranded nucleic acids with the ability to target any gene product. They act inside the cells to influence protein production by targeting RNA. Here, they can be brought to either prevent the production of proteins causing disease or increase production of proteins that are deficient due to disease, or target toxic RNAs that are unable to generate proteins. “Antisense-based therapies are rapidly gaining momentum in the clinic and becoming an important component of our early stage pipeline,” commented Mene Pangalos, Executive Vice President, Innovative Medicines & Early Development at AstraZeneca.
29.07.2015 Newly founded Mereo BioPharma has acquired three mid-stage clinical assets from Novartis. In turn, the Swiss pharma concern will hold a stake in the UK company. Other investors are also on board.
24.07.2015 Biotech companies across Europe continue to raise cash on the public markets, generating €3bn in total financing proceedings in the first half of 2015. Compared to 2014, this is almost twice as much.
23.07.2015 US money keeps flowing into Europe's biotechs. As the race for the peanut allergy market heats up, NASDAQ listed French biotech DBV has announced the successful closing of US$281m (€256m) share offering for its allergy products.
16.07.2015 Sanofi has announced plans to restructure its business in five standalone global business units starting in January 2016. The goal is to promote growth and help the company launch a catalogue of new drugs over the next five years.
15.07.2015 GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) has become the first drugmaker to join the Francis Crick Institute. It is a consortium made up of six scientific and academic institutes to conduct research and drug development in the UK. The new institute is set to become a world-leading centre of biomedical research and innovation.
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