AstraZeneca has entered into a global licence agreement with Synairgen for SNG001, a new, inhaled interferon beta being developed for the treatment of respiratory tract viral infections in patients with severe asthma.
Under the deal, AstraZeneca will pay Synairgen a $7.25m up-front fee and potential development, regulatory and commercial milestones of about $225m.
Additionally, AstraZeneca will pay tiered royalties ranging from single-digit up to mid-teens on commercial sales and will also be responsible for future development costs.
Synairgen’s IFN-beta medicine SNG001 supports the immune system by correcting a deficiency which makes patients vulnerable to respiratory tract viral infections.
AstraZeneca intends to start a Phase IIa trial with the drug in early 2015 in patients with severe asthma, building on results from an initial Phase lla trial in a broad asthma population.
SNG001 also provides the opportunity to expand the clinical program in other pulmonary diseases such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
AstraZeneca head of Respiratory, Inflammation & Autoimmune Innovative Medicines Maarten Kraan said respiratory disease is a core therapeutic area and a major growth platform for the company.
“SNG001 is an innovative and targeted therapy that has, if successful, the potential to offer a step-change in the treatment of severe asthma, and possibly COPD,” Kraan said.
Synairgen CEO Richard Marsden said the company is happy that this programme, discovered at the University of Southampton and developed by Synairgen, will be taken forward by AstraZeneca.
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