The drugs is Rigels R256, it is being investigated as a treatment for moderate to severe chronic asthma and in preclinical research has been shown to reduce airway inflammation and improve lung function.
AstraZeneca will be responsible for beginning first-in-human clinical studies for R256 and have exclusive rights to commercialise the drug around the world. Rigel will receive an upfront fee of $1 million with an additional $8.25 million in early milestone payments. In total, the deal could be worth up to $100 million.
Mene Pangalos, head of innovative medicines at AstraZeneca, said “there remains a need for more targeted therapies for moderate to severe chronic asthma”.