AstraZeneca and Amgen have linked up to develop and sell five monoclonal antibodies from the latter's portfolio.

Under the terms of the collaboration, the Anglo-Swedish drugmaker will make an upfront payment of $50 million and the companies will share costs and profits. The partners say that "all the molecules have novel profiles and offer the potential to deliver important treatments across multiple indications in inflammatory diseases".

The most advanced of the five drugs is brodalumab, which is going into Phase III for psoriasis, and is also being investigated as a treatment for psoriatic arthritis and asthma. The other drugs, which are in Phase I, are AMG 139 for Crohn's disease, AMG 181 for Crohn's and ulcerative colitis, AMG 557 for lupus and AMG 157 for asthma.

The agreement does not include certain territories previously partnered by Amgen for brodalumab with Kyowa Hakko Kirin and AMG 557 with Takeda.

AstraZeneca chief executive David Brennan said that "these novel clinical-stage assets…add value to our pipeline and build on our expertise in biologics". He added that "this creative collaboration will make the most of both companies’ respective capabilities, including AstraZeneca’s extensive global reach".

His counterpart at Amgen, Kevin Sharer, said `"we are impressed with AstraZeneca’s extensive experience in developing and launching products in the respiratory and gastroenterology areas, and believe this collaboration is an opportunity to work with a partner that has leading regulatory and commercial expertise in inflammation indications".