Sector News

Astex reveals partnership with MSD

August 13, 2023
Life sciences

Astex Pharmaceuticals, a company focused on the development of novel small molecule therapeutics for oncology and diseases of the central nervous system, has announced a global collaboration with MSD.

The aim of the partnership is to establish small molecule candidates with activity towards a tumour suppressor protein for treating cancer.

Astex, under the terms of the agreement, will incorporate its fragment-based drug discovery platform to develop compounds targeting multiple forms of the ‘p53’ tumour suppressor protein, while also providing MSD with lead compounds for further optimisation and preclinical development.

Meanwhile, MSD is granted an exclusive international license to study, develop and commercialise candidates arising from the collaboration.

Harren Jhoti, president and chief executive officer at Astex, was encouraged by the partnership: “Astex is applying its fragment-based drug discovery capability to design and generate small molecule modulators tailored to a wide range of potentially important therapeutic targets. This new alliance builds on our existing productive collaboration and allows us to combine our expertise and assets with MSD’s wide-ranging oncology capabilities.”

George Addona, senior vice president, discovery and translational medicine at MSD, added: “At MSD we are committed to driving innovation with the goal of improving outcomes for patients with cancer. We look forward to building on our collaboration with the Astex team to advance this potentially impactful area of oncology research.”

Astex will receive an upfront payment of $35m and is also eligible for milestone payments linked with the achievement of preclinical, clinical, regulatory and sales milestones. These will come to around $500m per program, as well as tiered royalties on sales of products emerging from the partnership.

Ultimately, MSD will assume responsibility for funding all future research and development of candidates, in addition to the commercialisation of products globally.

by John Pinching


comments closed

Related News

October 1, 2023

Clinical data from Boston Scientific and rivals could reshape pulmonary embolism market: analysts

Life sciences

After attending the annual Pulmonary Embolism Symposium last week in Austin, Texas, the analysts predicted clinical guidelines could shift toward catheter-based therapy once data from ongoing randomized trials is available.

October 1, 2023

AstraZeneca and SAS link up on AI and analytics

Life sciences

SAS – the AI and analytics company – has been selected by AstraZeneca to help boost efficiency and drive automation in the delivery of statistical analyses for clinical and post-approval submissions to regulatory authorities.

October 1, 2023

Will Big Pharma engage in Medicare price negotiations? Merck, AZ and BMS say they will

Life sciences

After the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) revealed the list of drugs set to face the first round of price negotiations under the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), the drugmakers responsible for marketing them are confronting a series of deadlines.

How can we help you?

We're easy to reach