) 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
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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.
) 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
Forest Laboratories Inc.
). Both carry a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).