Pharma Focus Asia

Accent Therapeutics and AstraZeneca to Discover and Develop Novel Cancer Therapeutics in New Collaboration

Friday, June 05, 2020

Accent Therapeutics and AstraZeneca will collaborate to discover, develop and commercialize transformative therapeutics targeting RNA-modifying proteins (RMPs) for the treatment of cancer. The collaboration combines Accent’s expertise as a leader in the biology, target identification and drug discovery of RMP-targeting therapies with AstraZeneca’s industry leading expertise in oncology.

Inhibition of RMPs is a new approach for addressing RNA pathobiology by targeting proteins that control many aspects of RNA biology. This class of targets represents a vast field of potentially important targets for cancer and other diseases.

José Baselga, Executive Vice President, Oncology R&D, AstraZeneca said: “The promise of RMP inhibition is a compelling area of exploration for AstraZeneca. With this collaboration, we will seek to identify novel targets and unlock the full potential of our medicines. We believe that the Accent team’s expertise in RNA-modifying protein biology and drug discovery complements AstraZeneca’s extensive research and development portfolio.”

Shakti Narayan, Chief Executive Officer, Accent Therapeutics said: “This collaboration leverages both AstraZeneca’s vast cancer expertise and resources and Accent’s rich pipeline of RMP therapeutic programs to bring new and potentially life-changing medicines to patients. This collaborative effort will enable us to rapidly advance and achieve the rich therapeutic potential of these exciting programs.”

Under the terms of the collaboration agreement, Accent will be responsible for research and development activities for a nominated preclinical program through to the end of Phase I clinical trials. Following completion of Phase I, AstraZeneca will lead development and commercialization activities for the nominated program, with Accent having the option to jointly develop and commercialize with AstraZeneca in the US. AstraZeneca will also have the exclusive option to license worldwide rights to two further preclinical discovery programs, for which Accent will conduct certain preclinical activities.

Accent will receive an upfront payment of $55 million and, in the event that Accent elects to jointly develop the nominated program, is eligible to receive up to $1.1 billion in additional success-based payments across all programs in the form of option fees and milestone payments, as well as tiered royalties on net sales ranging from mid-single digit to low-double digits. In the event Accent opts into co-developing and co-commercializing the nominated program, profits and losses will be split in the US.

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