After signing a cancer deal with Probiodrug last week, AstraZeneca has inked another oncology pact, this time with the UK's Horizon Discovery.

The companies have signed an agreement to "explore a range of oncology-relevant genotypes with the aim of identifying and validating a number of novel drug targets". The deal is the second cancer collaboration between AstraZeneca and Horizon, and follows the deal signed in April 2013 to explore the latter’s first-in-class kinase target programme, HD-001.

Under the terms of the agreement, Horizon will receive an undisclosed upfront fee and is eligible for subsequent payments of up to $88 million in milestones if compounds are developed by AstraZeneca against an undisclosed number of targets.

Susan Galbraith, head of the oncology iMed unit at AstraZeneca, said the firm's strategy of "collaborating with innovative organisations like Horizon allows us to broaden our oncology research efforts and complement our own internal capabilities". She added that matching "Horizon’s excellent capabilities in synthetic lethal screens and validation with our strong oncology discovery and development expertise offers real potential to address the need for novel cancer therapeutics".