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AstraZeneca PLC (AZN - Free Report) and Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited, a Japanese pharma company, have entered into an agreement to jointly develop and commercialize preclinical candidate MEDI1341.

In fact, MEDI1341 is an alpha-synuclein antibody being developed for the potential treatment of Parkinson’s disease (PD). The candidate is due to enter phase I studies later this year.

While AstraZeneca will lead MEDI1341 into phase I development, Takeda will take care of future clinical development activities. The companies will share future development and commercialization costs for MEDI1341 as well as any eventual revenues.

Per the deal, AstraZeneca will receive up to $400 million from Takeda that include initial revenue in 2017, and development and sales milestones thereafter.

Consequently, the company’s shares have underperformed the industry year to date. The stock has gained 6.8% compared with the industry’s gain of 11.3% in the same time frame.

Meanwhile, companies are focused on finding novel ways of capturing the Parkinson’s market.

Parkinson's disease is the second most common neurodegenerative disease and has a huge unmet medical need as there are no medicines that can slow or halt the degenerative progress of this chronic disease.
Therefore, many companies are developing candidates to counter the disease. Currently, Prothena Corporation plc (PRTA - Free Report) is evaluating PRX002, in collaboration with Roche Holding AG (RHHBY - Free Report) , for the treatment of Parkinson’s disease and other related synucleinopathies.

However, another company Acorda Therapeutics, Inc. (ACOR - Free Report) received a refusal to file (RTF) letter from the FDA in connection with the new drug application (NDA) for its Pakinson’s candidate, Inbrija. The FDA has deemed the application incomplete after a preliminary review and consequently, the regulatory body now requires additional supporting information to review the application.

Another company, Adamas Pharmaceuticals, Inc received the FDA approval of its candidate Gocovri for treating dyskinesia in patients with Parkinson's disease, who are on levodopa-based therapy. Markedly, this is the first drug to receive approval for this indication in the United States.

 

Zacks Rank

 

AstraZeneca currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

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