AstraZeneca Teams With Inovio to Develop DNA-Based Cancer Drugs
For the third time in less than a week, AstraZeneca has entered into a deal to boost its cancer drug pipeline, this time via a $727.5 million licensing and collaboration agreement with Inovio Pharmaceuticals to develop DNA-based immunotherapies.
Under the agreement, AstraZeneca’s biologics R&D arm MedImmune will gain exclusive rights to Inovio’s INO-3112, which targets cancers caused by the human papillomavirus.
MedImmune will pay $27.5 million upfront to Inovio, plus up to $700 million in development and commercial milestone payments. The AZ subsidiary will handle all development costs and Inovio will receive up to double-digit royalties on INO-3112 product sales.
MedImmune and Inovio will also develop up to two additional DNA-based cancer drugs not included in Inovio’s current pipeline, which MedImmune will have the rights to commercialize. Inovio will receive milestone and royalty payments on those drugs as well.
INO-3112 is currently in Phase 1 and 2 clinical trials for cervical and head and neck cancers.
On Aug. 5, AZ announced a deal with Mirati Therapeutics to evaluate a combination therapy for lung cancer. The following day, the firm said it is partnering with Heptares Therapeutics to test at least one A2A receptor-blocking compound across a range of cancers.
The British drugmaker recently divested some rare cancer treatments and gastroenterology drugs as it hones its focus on traditional cancer treatments. — Kellen Owing