AstraZeneca has announced a global license agreement with Synairgen Plc, an AIM-listed UK company specializing in respiratory diseases, for SNG001, a novel, inhaled interferon beta (IFN-beta) in clinical development for treating respiratory tract viral infections in patients with severe asthma. SNG001 supports the immune system by correcting a deficiency which makes patients vulnerable to respiratory tract viral infections.
Under the terms of the exclusive licence agreement, AstraZeneca will pay Synairgen a $7.25 million up-front fee and potential development, regulatory and commercial milestones of up to $225 million. In addition, AstraZeneca will pay tiered royalties ranging from single-digit up to mid-teens on commercial sales. AstraZeneca will be responsible for future development costs.
In early 2015, AstraZeneca will commence a Phase IIa study in patients with severe asthma, building on available clinical data from an initial Phase lla trial in a broad asthma population. SNG001 also provides the opportunity to expand the clinical programme in other pulmonary diseases including chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
Maarten Kraan, Head of Respiratory, Inflammation & Autoimmune Innovative Medicines, AstraZeneca, said: “Respiratory disease is a core therapeutic area for AstraZeneca, and a key growth platform for the company. Our approach includes addressing associated complications that patients experience, as well as developing treatments for the underlying disease. SNG001 is an innovative and targeted therapy that has, if successful, the potential to offer a step-change in the treatment of severe asthma, and possibly COPD.”
Richard Marsden, Synairgen CEO, commented: “We're delighted that this truly innovative programme, discovered at the University of Southampton and developed by Synairgen, will be taken forward by AstraZeneca. With its strong research focus and extensive experience in respiratory disease, AstraZeneca's commitment to developing novel medicines for patients with asthma and COPD makes them the ideal partner for SNG001.”