Horizon Discovery and AstraZeneca have entered into an exclusive collaboration and license agreement to explore Horizon's first-in-class kinase target programme, HD-001, as a means of developing novel therapies for multiple cancer types. HD-001 modulates a novel kinase, which is mutated in multiple cancer types including lung and colon tumours. What is more, the target seems to be crucial in cells with K-RAS mutations, which have been found in 40% of all cancers that have become resistant to available therapeutics.
The companies said that the preclinical programme have the potential for a blockbuster drugs as K-RAS defective cells are currently not druggable. Under the terms of the agreement, Horizon will receive undisclosed upfront and preclinical milestone payments, and are eligible for clinical and approval milestones totalling up to US$75m, as well as tiered royalties.