Astellas inks neurodegenerative collaboration deal

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Astellas continues to expand its list of 2013 partnerships. The drug maker and co-developer Mitokyne announced Monday an R&D agreement to pursue novel drugs that improve mitochondrial functions, with the overall goal being to create drug candidates that could treat genetic, metabolic or neurodegenerative disorders, and even conditions associated with aging. Mitokyne will handle R&D, while Astellas will pick up the clinical development and commercialization side of things.

Monday's announcement is one of a series of recent collaborations, which includes the June R&D agreement with Cytokinetics to target muscle-weakening diseases, May's announcement that it was teaming up with Amgen for cardiovascular and bone diseases, and April's announcement that Astellas and GSK were working on an anemia treatment that dupes the body into thinking it is at a higher altitude to stimulate red blood cell development.

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