AstraZeneca Plc (AZN) agreed to share in the development of five drug candidates in Amgen Inc. (AMGN:US)’s pipeline as the U.K.’s second-biggest drugmaker by sales seeks to replace revenue that will be lost to generic competition.
AstraZeneca, based in London, will make a one-time $50 million upfront payment and pay about 65 percent of the costs until 2014, the companies said in a statement. The experimental products are monoclonal antibodies, proteins that mimic those naturally produced by the body’s immune system, and will be studied in inflammatory diseases.
AstraZeneca is seeking new medicines as two of its best- selling treatments, Seroquel for schizophrenia, and Nexium for ulcers, face generic competition. Together the two drugs generated more than $10 billion in sales last year. Amgen, the world’s biggest biotechnology company, said it will benefit from AstraZeneca’s regulatory and commercial experience with inflammatory-disease products.
“This collaboration has the potential to bring more therapies to patients sooner, across more geographic areas,” said Kevin Sharer, chief executive officer of Thousand Oaks, California-based Amgen, in the statement.
The companies said they will co-develop AMG 139, AMG 157, AMG 181, AMG 557 and brodalumab. AstraZeneca will lead development and commercialization of AMG 139, AMG 157 and AMG 181, while Amgen will lead development and commercialization of brodalumab and AMG 557.
Brodalumab is about to enter a pivotal trial for psoriasis and is in mid-stage clinical tests for asthma and psoriatic arthritis. The other drug candidates are in early-stage trials.
Amgen will retain a low single-digit royalty for brodalumab and a mid-single digit royalty for the rest of the treatments, after which the companies will share the profits equally, they said.
The agreement excludes territories where Amgen has already signed agreements for brodalumab with Kyowa Hakko Kirin Co. (4151) and AMG 557 with Takeda Pharmaceutical Co. (4502)
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