AstraZeneca and Rigel Sign Worldwide License Agreement for a Potential New Treatment for Chronic Asthma
AstraZeneca (NYSE: AZN) and Rigel Pharmaceuticals, Inc., (Nasdaq: RIGL) today announced an exclusive worldwide license agreement for the global development and commercialization of R256, Rigel's inhaled JAK inhibitor shown to inhibit IL-13 and IL-4 signaling, which is being investigated as a treatment for moderate to severe chronic asthma. In preclinical research, R256 has been shown to reduce airway inflammation and improve lung function.
AstraZeneca will be responsible for beginning first-in-human clinical studies for R256, and for designing and conducting the clinical development of the compound. AstraZeneca will have exclusive rights to commercialize R256 around the world. AstraZeneca now has one of the strongest respiratory and inflammation pipelines in the pharmaceutical industry as well as extensive experience successfully developing and commercializing innovative treatments for a range of respiratory diseases.
Under the terms of the agreement, Rigel will receive an upfront payment of $1 million with an additional $8.25 million in early milestone payments anticipated by the end of 2013. Together with other specified developmental, regulatory and launch milestone payments, the R256 collaboration could be worth up to $100 million. Additionally, upon marketing approval of R256, Rigel will be eligible to receive tiered royalty payments on product sales.
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