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The Japanese drugmaker Astellas Pharma has expanded its collaboration with Cytokinetics, a biotech firm focused on muscle activators. Astellas will pay $65 million for an option to commercialize tirasemtiv, a skeletal muscle activator now in a Phase III clinical trial as an amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) treatment. The Japanese firm will also put up $30 million to fund development of Cytokinetics’ CK-2127107 for ALS. Astellas had already licensed the compound for other muscle diseases.
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