Issue Date: January 2, 2006
AstraZeneca in two small-molecule drug agreements
AstraZeneca is advancing small-molecule drugs for cancer and heart disease with an acquisition and a licensing deal, respectively. The British drug firm has agreed to acquire KuDOS Pharmaceuticals, also of the U.K., for $210 million in cash. AstraZeneca is particularly interested in a KuDOS drug, KU 59436, that stops tumor cells from repairing damaged DNA by inhibiting an enzyme involved in the process. AstraZeneca says KuDOS will become a hub for DNA repair discovery within its cancer and infection research area. Meanwhile, AstraZeneca has signed a deal to develop AtheroGenics' anti-inflammatory cardiovascular drug candidate, AGI-1067, now in Phase III trials. AtheroGenics will receive an up-front fee of $50 million and up to $300 million in development and regulatory milestones. It could reap further sales-related milestones of up to $650 million, for total payments of $1 billion.
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