January 06, 2006
AstraZeneca extends deal-making streak
AstraZeneca said it is buying licensing and research rights to an
Alzheimer’s drug, marking the fourth agreement the company has
inked in the last month.
AstraZeneca said it agreed to pay up to $300 million to Targacept
for rights to help develop and market that firm’s phase II compound
TC-1734, which is being developed to treat Alzheimer’s disease and
The four-year deal also hands AstraZeneca global rights for the
development and commercialization of any compounds that arise out
of the research collaboration, namely drugs for treating cognitive
The agreement caps a busy month that also included AstraZeneca’s
pact worth up to $338 million to develop CytoFab, a treatment for
severe infections, with UK biotech company Protherics PLC; a
potential $1 billion licensing agreement for an investigational
oral drug for the treatment of atherosclerosis from Alpharetta,
Ga.-based AtheroGenics; and last week’s $210 million purchase of
privately owned UK biotech firm KuDOS Pharmaceuticals, in which AZ
acquired promising Phase I cancer compound KU59436.
Analysts haven’t ruled out further deals in the coming months.
Under the Targacept agreement, Winston-Salem, N.C.-based Targacept,
which specializes in drugs for CNS disorders, receives an initial
payment of $10 million and could get additional milestone and
research-support payments and royalties dependent on sales of