AstraZeneca and Takeda enter agreement to develop Parkinson’s disease drug

AstraZeneca and Takeda have entered into an agreement to develop and commercialise MEDI1341, an alpha-synuclein antibody now in development as a potential treatment for Parkinson’s disease (PD).

In a separate development, Anglo-Swedish group announced that it had entered an agreement with Japan’s Takeda Pharmaceuticals to develop and commercialise MEDI1341, an alpha-synuclein antibody now in development as a potential treatment for Parkinson’s disease.

MEDI1341 is due to enter Phase I clinical trials later this year, AstraZeneca said-as the company projected in its 2016 annual report for its Innovative Medicines & Early Development Biotech Unit: “We are making good progress with our antibody directed toward alpha-synuclein for PD”.

AstraZeneca’s share price has fallen deep into the red in today’s session, having given up 0.97 percent to 4,455.00p as of 10:19 BST, slightly outperforming the broader market selloff which has seen the benchmark FTSE 100 index tumble 1.37 percent to 7,300.14 points so far today.

AstraZeneca has teamed up with Takeda to co-develop its preclinical Parkinson’s disease candidate MEDI1341.

Cancer is AstraZeneca’s main focus whereas Takeda has a strong track record in neuroscience. AstraZeneca and Takeda reason that MEDI1341 could prevent or delay the onset of PD, or at least slow down or stop its progression, by removing α-synuclein aggregates, preventing their formation, or stopping them from spreading. However, AstraZeneca thinks the high affinity and selectivity of MEDI1341-plus its reduced interaction with the immune system-will make it a safer, more effective drug than competing candidates. Both companies will share future development and commercialisation costs. “By combining our scientific expertise and sharing the risks and cost of development, we hope to accelerate the advancement of MEDI1341 as a promising new approach to support the treatment of people with Parkinson’s disease around the world”.

Emiliangelo Ratti, head of Takeda’s Global CNS Therapeutic Area Unit, said: “Our collaboration with AstraZeneca is a sophisticated one that will enable us to efficiently advance a validated target in a new modality, with the aim of improving the lives of patients”.

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