Pharma Focus Asia

Eccogene and AstraZeneca Enter Exclusive Agreement to Develop Small Molecule GLP-1 Receptor Agonist ECC5004 for Cardiometabolic Conditions

Friday, November 10, 2023

Eccogene recently announced an exclusive license agreement with AstraZeneca, granting AstraZeneca the rights to develop and commercialize Eccogene's small molecule GLP-1 receptor agonist (GLP-1RA) ECC5004 for potential applications in treating obesity, type-2 diabetes, and related comorbidities.

GLP-1RA drugs are crucial for managing various cardiometabolic diseases, and there is currently no approved orally available small molecule GLP-1RA. ECC5004, a small molecule GLP-1RA developed by Eccogene, could provide several benefits, including enhanced convenience and ease of use compared to existing injectable GLP-1RA therapies. Jingye Zhou, Eccogene's Chief Executive Officer, emphasized the importance of this partnership with AstraZeneca in accelerating the development of ECC5004 to benefit millions of patients worldwide dealing with these conditions.

Sharon Barr, Executive Vice President of BioPharmaceuticals R&D at AstraZeneca, stressed the need for innovative therapeutic options as the prevalence of cardiometabolic conditions and obesity continues to rise, affecting over a billion people. AstraZeneca sees ECC5004 as a potential oral GLP-1RA molecule that could offer alternatives to current injectable therapies, both as a standalone treatment and in combination for conditions such as type-2 diabetes and obesity. The addition of ECC5004 further enhances AstraZeneca's existing pipeline, addressing various pathways in cardiometabolic diseases.

Under the agreement's terms, Eccogene will receive an initial upfront payment of $185 million and may become eligible for up to an additional $1.825 billion in future payments tied to clinical, regulatory, and commercial milestones. Additionally, Eccogene will receive tiered royalties based on net product sales.

In exchange, AstraZeneca gains exclusive rights to develop and commercialize ECC5004 for any indication in all territories, except China. Eccogene and AstraZeneca will collaborate on the co-development and co-commercialization of ECC5004 in China.

ECC5004 is a once-daily, low-dose small molecule GLP-1RA currently undergoing a Phase I clinical trial in the United States involving healthy participants and patients with type 2 diabetes (T2D). Preclinical studies have demonstrated that ECC5004 possesses promising efficacy and safety profiles.



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