AZ enters into licensing agreement with biotech Ardelyx

Hannah Blake

pharmaphorum

AstraZeneca has bought the rights to an experimental kidney drug – the first major deal for the company since Pascal Soriot became CEO. A deal was expected following Pascal’s suspension of AZ’s share buybacks for the rest of the year on his first day in the job.

AZ will pay US $35 million up front to biotech firm, Ardelyx, for a worldwide exclusive licensing agreement for Ardelyx’s NHE3 inhibitor programme. This includes the Phase 2-ready lead compound RDX5791, for the treatment of complications associated with end-stage renal disease (ESRD) and chronic kidney disease (CKD).

“This licensing agreement accelerates our strong commitment to developing new medicines for people with renal complications, including those resulting from diabetes. There is a significant unmet medical need to address the challenges caused by sodium and excess fluid in people with renal impairment. With a novel mechanism of action, RDX5791 has the potential to have a major impact on how doctors treat these patients. We are tremendously excited to join forces with the Ardelyx team and draw on their depth of knowledge and insight.”

Gunnar Olsson, Vice President and Head of CVGI Innovative Medicines, AstraZeneca.

 Under further terms of the agreement, AZ will pay development milestone payments of US $237.5 million, as well as milestone payments related to launch and commercialisation and tiered, double-digit royalties. AZ will pay the development costs and Ardelyx will conduct Phase 2 clinical trials. As part of the transaction, Ardelyx has secured an option to co-promote the product in the US, subject to agreed limitations.

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Related news:

AstraZeneca new boss’s debut buy (The Independent)

AstraZeneca boosts pipeline with Ardelyx drug deal (Reuters)

Reference links:

AstraZeneca press release

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