AstraZeneca has acquired a cyclin-dependent kinase 9 inhibitor programme, targeting cancer and inflammatory diseases, from Germany's Probiodrug.

The deal will see the Anglo-Swedish drugmaker get hold of a lead molecule and back-up compounds, plus associated intellectual property. Susan Galbraith, head of the oncology iMed unit at AstraZeneca, added that "we are particularly interested in the development of targeted therapies [and] we believe that Probiodrug’s CDK9 inhibitor programme, while early stage, shows potential and we look forward to continuing its development".

Hendrik Liebers, chief financial officer at privately-owned Probiodrug, said AstraZeneca is "an excellent party to take over" the CDK9 inhibitor programme. He added that the transaction, the financial details for which have not been disclosed, "is consistent with our strategy to focus our resources exclusively on Alzheimer’s disease."