AstraZeneca will make a $12 million milestone payment to Heptares Therapeutics, a wholly-owned unit of Sosei Group Corp., as Heptares achieved a significant milestone in its immuno-oncology collaboration with the UK-based drugmaker. Heptares said its collaboration with AstraZeneca is focused on the development of AZD4635 as a potential new treament for various cancers. AZD4635 was discovered by Heptares and licensed to AstraZeneca in 2015.
The milestone was triggered by the completion of a pre-clinical program which showed that AZD4635 reversed adenosine-mediated T-cell suppression and enhanced anti-tumor immunity. Currently, ADZ4635 is being evaluated in a phase 1 trial as a single agent and in combination with AstraZeneca’s durvalumab in patients with solid malignancies.