AstraZeneca has bought itself access to Starpharma’s drug delivery technology that aims to improve the dosing and efficacy of medicines as well as reduce their toxicity through dendrimers.

The Anglo-Swedish drug giant is paying $2 million for use of Starpharma’s DEP drug delivery platform in the development and commercialisation of an undisclosed oncology compound, with potential for follow on candidates directed at a defined family of targets.

Australia-based Starpharma also stands to receive potential development, launch and sales milestones for the first AZ DEP product of $124 million, with subsequent qualifying products potentially yielding up to $93.3 million in milestones each, as well as tiered royalties.

The firms already have a long-standing partnership. “This license agreement will enable us to further harness the DEP technology and evaluate its potential across novel molecules within our oncology portfolio,” noted Susan Galbraith, Head of the Oncology Innovative Medicines Unit at AZ.