AZN and Horizon Discovery Ink Deal - Analyst Blog


AstraZeneca ( AZN ) has entered into a research, collaboration and license agreement with Horizon Discovery to discover and develop new cancer drugs. As per the terms of the agreement, AstraZeneca will make an upfront payment (undisclosed) and milestone payments of up to $88 million, subject to certain conditions, to Horizon Discovery.

This is the second deal between AstraZeneca and Horizon Discovery. Last April, the companies had entered into an exclusive collaboration and license agreement to explore Horizon Discovery's HD-001 program to develop new cancer treatments.

The identification of drug targets will help strengthen AstraZeneca's oncology pipeline which currently has candidates like tremelimumab and MEDI-4736.

We remind investors that AstraZeneca has been focusing on its oncology pipeline for some time now. In Oct 2013, the company acquired privately held biotech company, Spirogen. Spirogen was engaged in developing oncology related technology. AstraZeneca also entered into an agreement with Swiss-based oncology drug development company, ADC Therapeutics. As per the terms of the agreement, the companies will co-develop two of ADC Therapeutics' candidates in preclinical development.

In the same month, AstraZeneca acquired privately held U.S. based company, Amplimmune. Amplimmune was focused on developing treatments related to cancer immunology. The Amplimmune acquisition added several early-stage oncology candidates including AMP-514 to AstraZeneca's pipeline.

The company has also collaborated with Merck & Co. Inc. ( MRK ) for MK-1775, an oral small molecule inhibitor of WEE1 kinase. MK-1775 is being developed for the treatment of patients with P53-deficient ovarian cancer.

AstraZeneca carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Some better-ranked stocks include Gentium ( GENT ) and Forest Laboratories Inc. ( FRX ). Both carry a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

ASTRAZENECA PLC (AZN): Free Stock Analysis Report

FOREST LABS A (FRX): Free Stock Analysis Report

GENTIUM SPA-ADR (GENT): Free Stock Analysis Report

MERCK & CO INC (MRK): Free Stock Analysis Report

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of The NASDAQ OMX Group, Inc.

This article appears in: Investing , Business , Stocks

Referenced Stocks: AZN , FRX , GENT , MRK

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