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AstraZeneca Inks Deal to Develop RMP Inhibitors for Cancer

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AstraZeneca PLC (AZN - Free Report) announced that it will collaborate with Massachusetts-based private biotech Accent Therapeutics to discover and develop/commercialize transformative therapeutics targeting RNA-modifying proteins (RMPs) for the treatment of cancer.

This oncology collaboration focuses on targeting RMPs, a new approach to addressing the process disruptions that can cause cancer.

Per the deal, Accent will receive an upfront payment of $55 million from AstraZeneca and be also eligible to receive additional success-based payments in the form of option fees and milestones along with tiered royalties on net sales ranging from a mid-single digit to low-double digits.

According to the alliance, Accent will be responsible for preclinical and phase I development, after which AstraZeneca will lead the developmental and commercialization activities for the program. Once AstraZeneca looks into the development aspect, Accent has the option to jointly develop/commercialize the candidate in the United States. Meanwhile, if Accent opts for co-developing and co-commercializing the nominated program, profits and losses will be split between the two companies in the United States.

Shares of AstraZeneca have rallied 10.3% so far this year against the industry’s decrease of 1.1%.

We note that AstraZeneca is working to bolster its pipeline and is looking at suitable partnerships to that end.

AstraZeneca has co-development contracts with several small companies like Innate Pharma, FibroGen (FGEN - Free Report) , Moderna (MRNA - Free Report) and Daiichi Sankyo to boost its pipeline. The company also has a profit- sharing pact with pharma giant Merck (MRK - Free Report) for the development and commercialization of oncology drugs, Lynparza and Koselugo (selumetinib).

Zacks Rank

AstraZeneca currently carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

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