AstraZeneca signs a deal with Heptares that could be worth up to US$500m

Will develop novel immuno-oncology treatments for a range of cancers

AstraZeneca has acquired the global rights to develop, manufacture and commercialise an immuno-oncology candidate from Heptares Therapeutics, the biotechnology division of Sosei.

AstraZeneca will pay Heptares an initial US$10m for global rights to HTL-1071, an adenosine A2A receptor agonist, and if development and commercialisation milestones are completed, a further $500m, as well as up to double-digit tiered royalties on net sales.

Under the terms of the agreement, AstraZeneca will research, develop and commercialise HTL-1071, plus further A2A receptor-blocking compounds across a range of cancers, including in combination with the Anglo-Swedish drugmaker's existing portfolio of immunotherapies.

Susan Galbraith, Vice President, Head of Oncology in AstraZeneca’s Innovative Medicines and Early Development Unit, said: 'We are pleased to expand our successful collaboration with Heptares into the exciting area of immuno-oncology research. By combining the pioneering A2A receptor programme with the strength of AstraZeneca’s existing oncology portfolio, we hope to develop novel treatments with the potential to transform the lives of patients.'

UK-based Heptares was bought by Sosei of Japan for up to $400m in February.

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