(Adds details, shares)
Oct 5 Drugmaker Insmed Inc said on
Wednesday it had bought the rights to an experimental
early-stage respiratory drug from Britain's AstraZeneca Plc
in a deal worth $150 million.
AstraZeneca will get $30 million in upfront fees and $120
million in various milestone payments, Insmed said.
The deal adds AstraZeneca's AZD7986 compound to Insmed's
pipeline. AZD7986 is designed to stop an enzyme that regulates
inflammation in the respiratory system.
The British drugmaker has been trimming its pipeline by
licensing its experimental drugs to other companies as it
focuses on its cancer treatments.
The licensing deal with Insmed comes two days after
AstraZeneca sold the rights to a treatment for inflammatory
disease to Allergan Plc.
AstraZeneca, which has a long history of developing
successful respiratory medicines, is focusing its resources on
benralizumab, an experimental drug for severe asthma.
Insmed, which focuses on developing treatments for
respiratory diseases, said it would start a mid-stage study of
the drug in non-cystic fibrosis bronchiectasis, a disease in
which the airways in the lungs become permanently dilated due to
chronic inflammation and infection.
Insmed is also testing Arikayce in late-stage studies to
treat chronic lung infections.
According to deal terms, AstraZeneca has the option to
negotiate a deal to develop AZD7986 in chronic obstructive
pulmonary disease or asthma.
AstraZeneca shares were flat at 5012 pence at 1157 GMT on
the London Stock Exchange.
(Reporting by Vidya L Nathan in Bengaluru; Editing by Ted Kerr
and Anil D'Silva)