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Pharmaceuticals

AstraZeneca Scores August Hat Trick

by Rick Mullin
August 17, 2015 | APPEARED IN VOLUME 93, ISSUE 32

AstraZeneca signed three cash-plus-milestones agreements with biotech firms this month. In a deal with Inovio Pharmaceuticals, the U.K. drug firm’s MedImmune biologics division will pay $27.5 million for rights to INO-3112, a DNA-based immunotherapy targeting cancers caused by human papillomavirus types 16 and 18. MedImmune will study INO-3112 in combination with molecules in its own pipeline. Meanwhile, AstraZeneca will pay $10 million to Heptares Therapeutics for the rights to develop an adenosine A2A receptor antagonist, also in combination with its own molecules, for cancer. Lastly, AstraZeneca broadened its collaboration with Isis Pharmaceuticals around antisense drugs for cardiovascular, metabolic, and renal diseases. The drug firm will pay Isis $65 million for each candidate it advances to the clinic.

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