AstraZeneca has joined forces with Accent Therapeutics for the development and commercialisation of advanced therapeutics targeting RNA-modifying proteins (RMPs) to treat cancer.
The partnership will combine Accent’s expertise in the biology, target identification and drug discovery of RMP-targeting therapies with AstraZeneca’s advanced knowledge in oncology.
Accent Therapeutics CEO Shakti Narayan said: “This collaboration leverages both AstraZeneca’s vast cancer expertise and resources and Accent’s rich pipeline of RMP therapeutic programs to bring new and potentially life-changing medicines to patients.”
Under the deal, Accent will take the responsibility for research and development activities for a nominated preclinical programme through to the end of phase 1 clinical studies.
AstraZeneca will be responsible for the development and commercialisation activities for the nominated programme upon completion of the phase I activities. Accent will be provided with an option to jointly develop and commercialise the target drug with AstraZeneca in the US.
AstraZeneca will also secure an option to licence worldwide rights to two further preclinical discovery programmes for which Accent will carry out certain preclinical activities.
As per terms of the agreement, Accent will secure an upfront payment of $55m and when it is elected to jointly develop the nominated programme, the company is eligible to secure up to $1.1bn in additional success-based payments across all programmes in the form of option fees and milestone payments.
Accent will also be eligible to secure tiered royalties on net sales ranging from mid-single digit to low-double digits. The profits and losses will be split in the US upon Accent is opted into co-developing and co-commercialising the nominated programme.
AstraZeneca oncology R&D executive vice president José Baselga said: “The promise of RMP inhibition is a compelling area of exploration for AstraZeneca. With this collaboration, we will seek to identify novel targets and unlock the full potential of our medicines.
“We believe that the Accent team’s expertise in RNA-modifying protein biology and drug discovery complements AstraZeneca’s extensive research and development portfolio.”
Earlier this year, AstraZeneca entered into an agreement with Oxford University for the development of a vaccine to prevent Covid-19 disease.