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AstraZeneca, Rigel partner on worldwide license agreement for chronic asthma treatment


SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. — AstraZeneca and Rigel Pharmaceuticals have entered an exclusive worldwide license agreement for the global development and commercialization of an investigational treatment for moderate to severe chronic asthma.

Under the terms of the agreement, Rigel will receive an upfront payment of $1 million, with an additional $8.25 million in early milestone payments anticipated by the end of 2013, for R256, the company's inhaled JAK inhibitor that has been shown to reduce airway inflammation and improve lung function. Meanwhile, AstraZeneca will have exclusive rights to commercialize R256 around the world. Together with other specified developmental, regulatory and launch milestone payments, the R256 collaboration could be worth up to $100 million. Additionally, upon marketing approval of R256, Rigel will be eligible to receive tiered royalty payments on product sales.

Additionally, AstraZeneca will be responsible for beginning first-in-human clinical studies for R256 and for designing and conducting the clinical development of the compound.

"We are pleased to be expanding our relationship with Rigel and to develop and commercialize this novel asset, R256," AstraZeneca EVP innovative medicines Mene Pangalos saod. "Despite the number of medicines available to asthma patients today, there remains a need for more targeted therapies for moderate to severe chronic asthma. Through this agreement, R256 will benefit from the wealth of experience AstraZeneca has in bringing innovative treatments for respiratory diseases to millions of patients around the world."

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