AstraZeneca and Takeda in Parkinson’s Pact

  • (c) Astrazeneca(c) Astrazeneca

AstraZeneca and Takeda have agreed to jointly develop and commercialize a potential treatment for Parkinson’s disease. The companies will collaborate to advance MEDI1341, an antibody to alpha-synuclein, an aggregation-prone protein that contributes to the condition’s development.

The protein is the primary component of Lewy bodies, which are pathological protein aggregates that accumulate in the nerve cells of patients with Parkinson’s disease and appear to spread throughout the nervous system as the disease develops.

AstraZeneca said MEDI1341 is differentiated by its high affinity, high selectivity and reduced effector function, showing potential to achieve a better efficacy and safety profile than other alpha-synuclein antibodies.

Under the terms of the deal, AstraZeneca will lead Phase 1 development while Takeda will lead future clinical development activities. However, the companies will share equally any future development and commercialization costs as well as any future revenues.

Takeda will pay AstraZeneca up to $400 million, including initial revenue in 2017, and development and sales milestones thereafter.

“Despite modest advancements in maintenance therapies, Parkinson’s disease continues to represent a devastating diagnosis and a burdensome challenge for therapeutic discovery. Our collaboration with AstraZeneca is a sophisticated one that will enable us to efficiently advance a validated target in a new modality, with the aim of improving the lives of patients,” said Emiliangelo Ratti, head of Takeda’s global CNS Therapeutic Area Unit.

In separate news, AstraZeneca has entered into a collaboration with US biopharmaceutical company BERG to identify novel targets and therapeutics to treat neurological disorders such as Parkinson’s disease, with the help of artificial intelligence.

AstraZeneca will initially provide BERG with its curated library of central nervous system (CNS) optimized fragments, which the company will use to discover new drug candidates for therapeutic development.

BERG will use its proprietary Interrogative Biology platform to identify potential therapies by applying algorithm- and probability-based artificial intelligence to analyze the data.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

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