F-Star licenses STING inhibitors to AstraZeneca

F-star will retain rights to all STING agonists, currently in clinical development for patients with cancer

F-star Therapeutics, a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company which develops bispecific immunotherapies for patients with cancer, has entered a licensing agreement with AstraZeneca, under which AstraZeneca will receive global rights to research, develop and commercialise Stimulator of Interferon Genes (STING) inhibitor compounds.

Under the terms of the agreement, AstraZeneca is granted exclusive access to the company’s preclinical STING inhibitors. AstraZeneca will be responsible for all future research, development and commercialisation of the STING inhibitor compounds, while F-star will retain rights to all STING agonists, currently in clinical development for patients with cancer.

Neil Brewis, CSO of F-star, said: “We are excited to announce this agreement with AstraZeneca to develop these promising drug candidates. STING inhibitors offer enormous potential for new treatments, as STING is known to play a role in activating the innate immune system across a range of inflammatory and autoimmune diseases. We are confident that AstraZeneca can maximise the value of these discovery stage compounds to benefit patients.”

Maria Belvisi, Senior VP and Head of Research and Early Development, Respiratory & Immunology, BioPharmaceuticals R&D of AstraZeneca, said: “As part of our bold ambition to develop therapeutic options for patients across immune mediated diseases I am delighted to announce this agreement with F-star to explore novel STING inhibitors. We look forward to advancing our discovery efforts in these areas of high unmet medical need.”

F-star is eligible for upfront and near-term payments of up to $12m. It will also be eligible for development and sales milestone payments of more than $300m, as well as single digit percentage royalty payments.

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