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Regulus partners with AstraZeneca for microRNA therapeutics

Regulus Therapeutics has formed a strategic alliance with AstraZeneca to discover, develop, and commercialize microRNA therapeutics for cardiovascular and metabolic diseases and oncology.

The collaboration will focus on three microRNA targets, which include Regulus’ lead cardiovascular/metabolic disease program targeting microRNA-33 for the treatment of atherosclerosis.

According to the agreement, AstraZeneca will make a $28m payment which includes an equity investment and an upfront payment to Regulus.

AstraZeneca Cardiovascular & Gastrointestinal Innovative Medicines Unit vice president and head Gunnar Olsson said, "MicroRNA therapeutics have the potential to open up innovative and important treatment options for patients and AstraZeneca is pleased to collaborate with Regulus in this new and exciting area."

Under the agreement, Regulus will lead preclinical development and, if successful, could receive pre-clinical milestone payments while AstraZeneca will lead and fund the clinical development and commercialization of the programs.

Regulus is also eligible to receive clinical milestones, significant launch and commercial milestone payments and royalties.

Regulus Therapeutics president and chief executive officer Kleanthis Xanthopoulos said, "The entire field of RNA therapeutics has been rapidly advancing, reaching significant milestones recently. We are committed to realize the broad utility of these new RNA-based medicines to treat human disease in the future. "