AstraZeneca and Takeda are to jointly develop and commercialise an experimental therapy for Parkinson’s disease.
The companies will work together to advance AZ’ MEDI1341, an antibody to alpha-synuclein, an aggregation-prone protein that contributes to the development of the condition.
Alpha-synuclein protein is the key component of Lewy bodies, pathological protein aggregates that accumulate in the nerve cells of patients with PD which appear to spread throughout the nervous system during the progression of the disease.
As such, researchers believe that therapies striving to remove existing aggregates, prevent their formation, or stop them from spreading could potentially prevent or delay the onset of PD, or halt or slow its progression.
According to AZ, MEDI1341 is an antibody that is “differentiated by its high affinity, high selectivity and reduced effector function, which has the potential to achieve a better efficacy and safety profile than other alpha-synuclein antibodies”.
Under the terms of the deal, AZ will lead Phase I development while Takeda will lead future clinical development activities, but the firms will share equally future development and commercialisation costs, as well as any future revenues.
Takeda will pay AZ 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,” noted Emiliangelo Ratti, head, Global CNS Therapeutic Area Unit at Takeda.
“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.”