Redx Pharma gets $9m as AstraZeneca initiates AZD5055 phase 1 trial

UK-based biotech company Redx Pharma said that it has received a milestone payment of $9 million from AstraZeneca following the initiation of a phase 1 clinical trial of AZD5055 (RXC006).

AZD5055 is a porcupine inhibitor, which is targeted at fibrotic diseases such as idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) and others.

Redx Pharma had out-licensed the porcupine inhibitor to AstraZeneca as per a deal signed in August 2020. As per the terms of the deal, the clinical-stage company would receive early payments of up to $17 million from AstraZeneca between the date of the agreement and the successful start of the first clinical trial of AZD5055.

Previously, Redx Pharma had received $8 million as part of the early payments.

Additionally, the biotech company is entitled to get up to a further $360 million from the pharma giant through development, regulatory and commercial milestone payments.

AstraZeneca pays $9m to Redx Pharma after initiating AZD5055 phase 1 trial

AstraZeneca pays $9m to Redx Pharma after initiating AZD5055 phase 1 trial. Photo courtesy of AstraZeneca.

According to Redx Pharma, porcupine inhibition is an anti-fibrotic approach in which Wnt -ligand secretion from pro-fibrotic cells is suppressed. Wnt ligands are considered as strong drivers of fibrotic mechanisms and are expressed highly in diseases like idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis.

Lisa Anson — CEO of Redx Pharma said: “We are delighted that AstraZeneca is progressing AZD5055 (RXC006) into a Phase 1 study in healthy volunteers to support the further development in IPF.

“The successful achievement of this milestone highlights, once again, Redx’s ability to generate novel product candidates that have significant potential for diseases with high unmet medical need. This is the fourth product candidate discovered by Redx to enter clinical trials.”

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